New Features Added to the ioBridge.com Interface

After a few weeks of testing, we are ready to release some new features and updates to the ioBridge.com interface. Everything will be live the next time you sign into ioBridge.com.

Here is a list of the key updates and new features:

Drag-and-drop Dashboard

Your dashboard is now customizable. You can move around your widgets to create a dashboard for your specific application or requirements. There are three columns your widgets can be place, where the center column is wider to accommodate charts and larger widgets. To drag a widget, click and hold on the Widget Label Bar and move it where you want it placed. To edit the widget quickly, click on the gear icon.

Drag-and-Drop Dashboard

Drag-and-Drop Dashboard

Data Feed API v2

The Data Feed API has been completely updated. Our API is opening all of the time and we wanted to set the stage with a revamped Data Feed API with a RESTful interface. We added support for SSL and the ioBridge IO-204-PRO. We also added keys for the onboard variables that you can write to offline. Check out the Data Feed API v2 documentation for more information and the complete change list and sample projects.

Module Interface

We cleaned up the Module Interface by adding tabs and adding direct access to your Onboard Rules and Actions. From one interface you can setup the module, control outputs, and configure onboard rules and logic without using multiple sections of the interface.

Automated Setup

Prior to this update, you had to configure the channel settings and then create a widget. It’s easy to miss one of the steps. Now when you create an X10 Widget, for example, the interface automatically configures the channel for X10. This also works for Server-side Actions and Data Logging.

We hope that you put the new features to good use. Let us know how the new features and updates work out for you and keep us updated with anything new we should be doing. Stay tuned…we got more hardware and features that are coming soon…including an API for external plugins.

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!

The Internet of Things Thing by Martijn Pannevis

Mobile Monday Amsterdam was held March 29th De Duif, Amsterdam. This talk was centered around The Internet of Things and brought together creative minds, projects, and presentations.

20100329_momo_ams_15-5125

Martijn Pannevis (@PanMan) created the MomoMeter which is a physical meter that takes the pulse of Twitter for certain trending topics and hashtags. The thing gives you visual feedback on your pervasiveness on the real-time web. Martijn’s project uses an ioBridge IO-204, servo controller, and servo. He built a web app that queries the Twitter API and sends relative servo positions to the ioBridge Web API which moves the meter needle accordingly. Martijn Pannevis explains how to build your own internet of things thing with his presentation. (Photos by Filip Bunkens)

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Wireless Robot with Web Controls

Any good SkyNet starts with a robot. Well, we are in luck…User “badcat89″ posted in our forum about a Web-enabled, Wireless Robot that is controlled via a web interface. We can imagine a swarm of robots controlled by data received from the web.

Web Powered Robot

Web Powered Robot

The robot uses a pair of serial bluetooth adapters to form a wireless link with the ioBridge IO-204. The serial levels of the IO-204 are TTL and a circuit using the MAX-232 was required to allow the serial interface work properly. On the robot is a set of serial servo drivers that control the steering and speed.

IO-204 and Serial Bluetooth Adpater

IO-204 and Serial Bluetooth Adpater

The interface is standard web page using an embedded ioBridge.com serial widget to make the connection to the IO-204 base station module. You can control the direction and throttle by clicking on the itnerface and using the up and down arrow keys on your keyboard. The interface generates serial strings that the serial servo drivers react to when received. You can see the strings and the serial widget in the debug part of the web interface.

Web-based Robot Controls

Web-based Robot Controls

Here is a YouTube video of the web powered robot in action – looks like a lot of fun to drive. One step closer…