Robots Interact on MyRobots, a Social Network for Robots

RobotShop recently introduced their social network for robots called MyRobots. By allowing devices to pass messages to cloud services, MyRobots allows for interesting interactions among things and people. The idea is to make robots social and provide their information in context with how we like to communicate with each other.

“Soon, I will be able connect to the robots in my home, and MyRobots will provide me with their current status such as if all is well, they have a problem or even if they require maintenance. MyRobots will inform me in real-time of any action I need to take, thus facilitating the coexistence and communication between mankind and these increasingly intelligent machines.” -Mario Tremblay, RobotShop CEO

MyRobots Logo

Internet of Things Scale

Social networking services like Twitter process over 200 million Tweets a day and when everyday objects and robots come online in the way that we see it, this number will be crushed. RobotShop built their new platform on top of ThingSpeak which is a highly scalable infrastructure for the Internet of Things created by ioBridge. ThingSpeak is open source and enables devices to interact with social networks, store data, send status updates, and track location all in real-time.

“We are excited that RobotShop selected ThingSpeak as the platform on which to build their innovative MyRobots portal. ThingSpeak is ioBridge’s open source Internet of Things cloud service. This partnership goes hand-in-hand with ioBridge’s vision of helping people benefit from being able to interact with a community of smart things” -Dr. Robert Mawrey, ioBridge CEO

MyRobots Platform

RobotShop’s domain knowledge is robots. By taking their passion for robots and pushing their ideas, they will make it very easy for robot manufactures to add the cloud, add engagement, and draw in consumers. They are well positioned with their knowledge and love of all things robot to create a successful cloud robotics platform that makes it look easy on the outside, while doing the heavy lifting on the inside.

MyRobots Platform Diagram

‘Open’ for Business

MyRobots leveraged ThingSpeak to provide their platform an instant API. APIs are a way that developers can extend and interact with your system and come up with new things that you may not have originally planned for. Opening up APIs, providing source code, and letting others access data, will generate a new crop of users and ideas. And, new ideas are what the Internet of Things needs to be successful or we will see the momentum die out like we saw home automation die out 12 years ago.

In the article, “The Google Rush Toward Internet of Things”, Dana Blankenhorn, says “An open API would enable start-ups like Thingworx, for instance, bring electric utilities to the party. It lets companies like ioBridge bring cloud robotics to the party.” And, we agree. We could not have predicted that Roomba’s and robots would be using our technology to interact with each other. This is the awesome side effect of being ‘open’ for business and we are so thrilled that RobotShop brought a new idea to the table.

[via ioBridge / RobotShop Press Releases]

Socially Aware Lights, Now Wireless with XBee and ioBridge

Check out the iDigi blog for details of a new project involving CheerLights - a network of interconnected lights. In this project, Noel Portugal created a wireless version of CheerLights using Digi’s XBee radios and the ioBridge IO-204 web gateway. Lights, apps, and objects all stay linked together by listening to the Twitter Stream for colors. When a color gets tweeted to @cheerlights, all of the objects change to that color.

“It’s a way to connect physical things with social networking experiences. We are all connected.” -CheerLights

ioBridge Internet Gateway with XBee Radio

Colors from Twitter are processed via ioBridge’s Internet of Things Platform called ThingSpeak. ThingSpeak is a suite of apps to make things social and interact with each other and social networks. CheerLights takes advantage of the TweetControl app. This app can be used to monitor Twitter and then send a control signal to anything that supports HTTP like thermostats, ioBridge X10 Home Automation gear, kid’s toys, interactive trade show displays… and whatever you come up with next.

[via iDigi / My Web of Things]

New Gauge Widgets for Displaying Sensor Data

We have a new option for displaying sensor data on the ioBridge Dashboard or on your webpage. You can now select the Gauge Widget style for analog input widgets, external monitor widgets, and expression widgets. The external monitor widget lets you pull in data from external sites, such as NOAA, WeatherBug, or ThingSpeak, and display their data along side your own data on your secure, private dashboard. Everything works on IE6+, FireFox, Safari, Chrome, Opera, iPhone, Android-based browsers.

Dashboard with New Gauge Widget

To use the new gauge widget, create an Analog Input Widget, External Monitor Widget, or Expression Widget, and select “Gauge” under the style option.

New HTML App Widget

The new Custom HTML App widget allows you to embed HTML, CSS, and JavaScript in a widget so you can create custom widgets, apps, and mashups without having to run your own web server. The widget can hold embedded video, ThingSpeak charts, Google Visualizations, JQuery UI, and mobile web app frameworks. You can securely add the HTML App widget to dashboard so you can watch see live video right along with your ioBridge controls. That’s one only one application idea, we look forward to see what you come up with.

HTML Apps on Dashboard

HTML Apps on Dashboard

Visit the ioBridge Wiki for more information on the HTML App Widget.

Web of Things Talk at O’Reilly Ignite

Join our very own Hans Scharler at one of the O’Reilly Ignite events Thursday, February 10, 2011 at Brillobox in Pittsburgh, PA. Hans will be giving a talk entitled, “Tangled in a Web of Things”, which is about the current fragmented state of the Web of Things and the future of connected devices and services. Hans is the co-founder of ioBridge and contributor to ThingSpeak, an open source Internet of Things platform. The format for Ignite is 20 slides, 5 minutes, 15 seconds a slide, as they say, “Enlighten us, but make it quick.” There will be other great talks, so make sure to join us at Ignite Pittsburgh!

Tangled in a Web of Things - Ignite Talk by Hans Scharler

Ignite Pittsburgh
Thursday, February 10, 2011

Brillobox
4104 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA

Doors open at 7pm

ignitepittsburgh.com