IoTBox – an Internet of Things, thingy.

The final version of the IoTBox

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The final version

The IoTBox is a small 5x5cm device with an OLED screen that displays MQTT messages, an RGB LED to show MQTT messages as a status colour, a button that triggers an MQTT message and a waterproof temperature sensor that sends MQTT messages and/or a REST call. It can be updated “OTA” and is powered by the USB connector.

These articles will show you how to build one.

Background to IoTBox

Back in December 2014, I started to look at a new Wifi chip that had just been released as a means of Internet enabling various Arduino projects that I had been thinking about. I soon realised that this processor (the ESP8266) was actual more powerful than the Arduino and much much cheaper.

One of my first projects was to build a small screen (OLED 0.96″) to display information via NodeRed from my Tado heating system and the various Ciseco sensors around the house. My home system is based around a Message Bus called MQTT and I managed to find and modify some code by Nathan Chantrell that enabled me to build a cheap system to display various dynamic topics of interest – such as hot water temperature, room and outside temperatures.

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MQTT display “thingy”

Around this time, the company that I work for (IBM) was undergoing a change. Much more focus on ioT…. and the question arises: how can we show IoT working with our products?. I work with IBM Maximo, the leading Enterprise Asset Management (maintenance) application.

I had an idea, how about a wifi enabled sensor that has a display to show MQTT topics, an RGB LED to show status changes, a temperature sensor and a button to initiate tasks. All of these features should be MQTT enabled and not locked to IBM Maximo – I would like it to be relevant across the entire IoT product set.

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