Candy Dispenser is a Twilio, Twitter, and ioBridge Mashup

Halloween would not be complete without some novel electronics to spook the trick-or-treaters. Noel Portugal created a system that allows you to send text messages or tweets to his Halloween Candy Dispenser to drop some treats into your bag. Commands are relayed from the web via the ioBridge IO-204 to his microcontroller controlled candy dispenser. There’s a big red button in case you forgot your mobile phone in your Iron Man costume.

Internet-enabled Halloween Treat Dispenser

Internet-enabled Halloween Treat Dispenser

Noel wrote a web application using Oracle Application Express that connects all the parts together. At the heart of the design is an Arduino-based microcontroller that drives the servo-based dispenser mechanism. The commands are relayed from the web app to the Arduino using the ioBridge IO-204 via XBee radios. The Internet connectivity part is what allows tweets (@tweetfortreats) or text messages processed by Twilio to control the candy dispenser. The web application makes use of the ioBridge Widget API to parse commands from the Internet.

ioBridge IO-204 Module with XBee Radio

ioBridge IO-204 Module with XBee Radio

Just think of where this type of technology can go? Vending machines?

If you are interested in learning more, Noel has put together an Instructables so others can create their own DIY Halloween project this year. There’s also more information on Adafruit, MAKE, Hacked Gadgets, and Noel’s My Web of Things blog. Happy Halloween!

Remote Controlled Cat Door and Alert System

Rogier Honselaar is a tech consultant in Germany. He wanted to be able to control a cat door remotely and also be notified when his cat came home.

"Gonzo" loves his automated cat door

"Gonzo" loves his automated cat door

As with most projects, Rogier started searching the Internet and found some interesting projects. He got the idea to combine some of his favorite projects and make a remotely controlled cat door and alert system for his cat, “Gonzo”.

Here are some projects that inspired him:

When the idea was there, the execution was very easy using the IObridge module and components.

Rogier installed a Cat Mate Cat Door in his basement. The cat door opens when the electromagnet senses a magnet in the cat’s collar. By running the sensor and switch over the the ioBridge IO-204, Rogier can be open and close the door remotely. He is also able to monitor  when the cat comes in and out of the door. The messages get pushed to Ping.fm via the IO-204 and ioBridge web service. Rogier and his neighbor follows his cat on Twitter @fellnasegonzo to make sure Gonzo is home safe and sound.

Cate Mate Automated Cat Door

Cat Mate Automated Cat Door

Cat Door Switch and Sensor

Cat Door Switch and Sensor

At ioBridge.com, Rogier created a few control and monitor widgets. With some help from a friend, he controls and reads the widgets via a net-connected Windows Mobile app on his cellphone and can open and close the cat door on his Windows Home Server.
Windows Mobile Cat Door Control App

Windows Mobile Cat Door Control App

Windows Home Server Interface

Windows Home Server Interface

Thanks for sending us the project details – we are happy to share. You combined some very interesting things together and created a very useful project. We wish you and Gonzo well and hope you enjoy the new cat door! Who let the cat out? Meow.

Maker Faire Wrap Up

Over 2000 people came to the first annual Maker Faire North Carolina in Durham, NC. There were makers from all over. It was a blast!

We had on display web-enabled robots, toys, and interactive projects created by the ioBridge community. Some of those projects included, an iPhone and Twitter controlled Donkey Kong, X10 controlled lamp, streaming temperature sensor, and a remote controlled dog treat dispenser.

While we were there, we captured some footage of our projects on display and exhibits that we were able to see. There were so many great projects and so little time. We made a quick YouTube video and posted pictures to the ioBridge Flickr group.

Thanks to all of the volunteers, exhibitors, and sponsors who made the Maker Faire NC such a success.

Looking forward to 2011!

Visit us at Maker Faire NC

Maker Faire North Carlina is April 25, 2010

ioBridge is an exhibitor and sponsor at this year’s Maker Faire North Carolina. We will have on display web-enabled robots, toys, and interactive projects created by the ioBridge community. Some of those projects include, an iPhone controlled Donkey Kong and a remote controlled dog treat dispenser.

Maker Faire NC is free and open to the public. Stop by and visit us!

Maker Faire NC
Sunday, April 25, 2010 9AM – 9PM

Loehmann’s Plaza
1821 Hillandale Rd.
Durham, NC 27705

www.makerfairenc.com

Feedback MP3 Player and Activity Logger

Steve (aka Polymythic) created a Motion Feedback MP3 Player that plays music tracks at varying volume depending on the level of activity the system detects. The concept is to encourage more activity by creating a feedback loop between the volume of music and the level of your activity.

Motion Feedback MP3 Player

Motion Feedback MP3 Player

Motion is detected with a Parallax PIR Sensor. When motion is detected, the output pin of the sensor goes high. That out is monitored by the ioBridge IO-204. With or without a network connection, the IO-204 sets the volume of a DIY MP3 Trigger board from SparkFun. The volume is controlled by sending serial strings to the MP3 Trigger. Steve took advantage of the new Onboard Rules that turn the IO-204 into a standalone controller. When the IO-204 is connected to the Internet, the IO-204 also data logs his activity by sending it to the ioBridge data logging service in the cloud.

To learn more about how to make your own, visit Instructables and Polymythic.com or YouTube. The project also is posted on Engadget and UberGizmo. Well done, Steve.