Posts with «api» label

oCat is a real-time tracker for popular cat videos

Over the last couple of years, cat videos have become the undisputed champions of the web. Whether it’s kittens playing with their shadows to failed jump attempts to giving each another massages, we’re all guilty of watching a few of these clips from time to time (yes, even at work). Built with this in mind, oCat is a real-time tracker for feline-related activity on the Internet.

oCat consists of two parts: the oCat News Distractor and the Kitty o’Cat Twitter bot. Using Google’s YouTube API, the system works by continuously monitoring for new uploads, the number of new views each day, or a specific video that has received a remarkable amount of attention. It then tweets these stats and prints them out on thermal paper, stamping a paw print on the timeline for every 1,000 views.

Created by Annika Engelhardt, a digital media design master’s student at the University of the Arts in Bremen, oCat uses an Arduino along with an ESP Wi-Fi module, a servo, and an LCD screen. The aim of the project is to increase and reveal the amount of hours people spend watching cat videos online.

The cat is an altered Maneki-neko, holding a stamp using welding wire and hot glue. Even though I filled the stamp with extra ink, it did not work properly and I had to cut out the paw-shape from a sponge and glue it onto the original stamp.

The thermal printer used in the device needs a USB connection, so I used a Raspberry Pi to control it. I wrote a Python script that checks four different RSS news feeds for new posts every 15 minutes and prints one headline with a timestamp every minute.

The Twitter bot was programmed using Python and a library called tweepy. Most of the script is reading JSON files, juggling and comparing data and text files and in the end mixing up parts of a sentence to form a tweet. The bot will be enhanced in the future

Engelhardt exhibited the project at Galerie Flut in Bremen back in October. You can find more pictures and information on the project here.

Arduino Blog 09 Nov 05:49
api  arduino  cat  esp8266  featured  genuino  lcd  servo  wifi  youtube  

Explore your weekly calendar through a tangible interface

A group of students (Kate Twomey, Leila ByronDaan Weijers, Luuk Rombouts) at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design explored the creation of a tangible user interface displaying personal calendar’s meetings without using a screen.
The installation is called Timely and uses Temboo, Google Calendar API and a Genuino MKR1000 to pull all the upcoming week’s events and displaying each of them with a rotation of a laser cut base and its red strings:

The visual forecast is used to create awareness, while capacitive sensors in timely make it easy to adjust busy days by simply grabbing all three prongs of the chosen day. timely will then distribute your time more evenly throughout the day by rescheduling events and meetings, while automatically notifying attendees if needed.

Combining Musical Hatred with Target Practice

Not everyone can agree on what good music is, but in some cases you’ll find that just about everyone can agree on what is awful. That’s what the people over at Neo-Pangea discovered when they were listening to Internet radio. When one of those terrible songs hits their collective eardrums, the group’s rage increases and they just need to skip the track.

This is how Engineers act if the song is super-awful

Rather than use a web app or simple push button to do the trick, they turned the “skip” button into a NERF target. They call their creation the Boom Box Blaster and made a fantastic demo film video about it which is found after the break.

Inspired by a painting in the office, the target takes the form of a small hot air balloon. The target obviously needed some kind of sensor that can detect when it is hit by a NERF dart. The group tried several different sensor types, but eventually settled on a medium vibration sensor. This sensor is connected to an Arduino, which then communicates with a Raspberry Pi over a Serial connection. The Pi uses a Python script to monitor the Arduino’s vibration sensor. The system also includes some orange LEDs to simulate flames and a servo attached to the string which suspends the balloon from the ceiling. Whenever a hit is registered, the flames light up and the balloon raises into the air to indicate that the shot was on target.

The Pi was required in order to interface with the group’s streaming music service of choice; Sonos. The Sonos API made it easy for the team to interface their target with the “skip track” function. They just wrote a Node.js script that runs on the Pi and sends the proper command as necessary. Now whenever the radio asks the group if they want to build a snowman, they can all answer with a resounding, “no!”. They just need to make sure they have enough ammo to spare. Be sure to check out the comical demonstration video on the project page.

Filed under: Android Hacks, musical hacks

Display Your City’s Emotional State with Illuminated Snow

[Hunter] wanted to do something a bit more interesting for his holiday lights display last year. Rather than just animated lights, he wanted something that was driven by data. In this case, his display was based on the mood of people in his city. We’ve seen a very similar project in the past, but this one has a few notable differences.

The display runs off of an Arduino. [Hunter] is using an Ethernet shield to connect the Arduino to the Internet. It then monitors all of the latest tweets from users within a 15 mile radius of his area. The tweets are then forwarded to the Alchemy Sentiment API for analysis. The API uses various algorithms and detection methods to identify the overall sentiment within a body of text. [Hunter] is using it to determine the general mood indicated by the text of a given tweet.

Next [Hunter] needed a way to somehow display this information. He opted to use an LED strip. Since the range of sentiments is rather small, [Hunter] didn’t want to display the overall average sentiment. This value doesn’t change much over short periods of time, so it’s not very interesting to see. Instead, he plots the change made since the last sample. This results in a more obvious change to the LED display.

Another interesting thing to note about this project is that [Hunter] is using the snow in his yard to diffuse the light from the LEDs. He’s actually buried the strip under a layer of snow. This has the result of hiding the electronics, but blurring the light enough so you can’t see the individual LEDs. The effect is rather nice, and it’s something different to add to your holiday lights display. Be sure to check out the video below for a demonstration.

Filed under: Arduino Hacks, Holiday Hacks

Online data analysis with Arduino and plotly


It’s 2014 and the Internet-of-Things is flying along at a rapid rate with all sorts of services and devices that share data and allow control via the Internet. In the spirit of this we look a new service called plotly.

This is a “collaborative data analysis and graphing tool” which allows you to upload your own data to be analysed in many ways, and then graph the results using all sorts of plot types.

With plotly you can run your own mathematical functions over your data, run intense statistical analysis and use or edit one of the many APIs (PythonMATLABRJuliaRESTArduino, or Perl) to increase the level of customisation. Plotly works in conjunction with Google Drive to store your data, however this can be exported and imported without any issues. Futhermore plotly works best in Google Chrome.

For our review we’ll look at using plotly to quickly display and analyse data received from an Internet-connected Arduino – our EtherTen, or you can use almost any Arduino and Ethernet shield. The system isn’t completely documented however by revieiwng our example sketch and some experimenting with the interface plotly is very much usable, even in its current beta format.

Getting started with plotly

You will need to setup a plotly account, and this is simply accomplished from their main site. Some of you may be wondering what plotly costs – at the time of writing plotly is free for unlimited public use (that is – anyone can see your data with the right URL), but requires a subscription for extended private use. You can find the costs at the plans page.

Once you have a plotly account, visit your plotly home page, whose URL is – then click “edit profile”. Another window will appear which amongst other things contains your plotly API key – make a note of this as you will need it and your username for the Arduino sketch.

Next, you’ll need some Arduino or compatible hardware to capture the data to log and analyse. An Arduino with an Ethernet or WiFi connection, and appropriate sensors for your application. We have our EtherTen that takes readings from a temperature/humidity sensor and a light level sensor:

Now you need a new Arduino library, which is available from the plotly API page. Lots of APIs there… Anyhow, click “Arduino” and you will arrive at the github page. Download the entire .zip file, and extract the plotly_ethernet folder into Arduino libraries folder which in most installations can be found at ..\Arduino-1.0.x\libraries. 

Finally we’ll use a demonstration sketch provided by plotly and modify this to our needs, which can be downloaded from github. We’ll go through this sketch and show you what to update – so have a quick look and then at out example sketch at the end of this section.

First, insert any code required to get data from your sensors and store the data in a variable – do this so the values can be used in void loop. Next, update the MAC address and the IP address of your Ethernet-enabled Arduino with the following lines:

byte mac[] = { 0xDE, 0xAD, 0xBE, 0xEF, 0xFE, 0xED };
byte my_ip[] = { 192,168,0,77 };

and change the MAC and IP if necessary. If Arduino and Ethernet is new to you, check out the tutorial. Now look for the following two lines and enter your plotly username and API key:

plotly.username = "yourplotlyusername";
plotly.api_key = "yourplotlyAPIkey";

Next – it’s a good idea to set your time zone, so the time in plots makes sense. Add the following two lines in void setup():

plotly.timestamp = true; 
plotly.timezone = "Australia/Melbourne";

You can find a list of time zones available for use with plotly here. Now you need to determine how many traces and points to use. A trace is one source of data, for example temperature. For now you will have one point, so set these parameters using the following lines:

int nTraces=x; // x = number of traces
int nPoints=1;

For example, we will plot temperature, humidity and light level – so this requires three traces. The next step is to set the filename for the plot, using the following line:

char filename[] = "simple_example";

This will be sent to plotly and your data will be saved under that name. At the point in your sketch where you want to send some data back to plotly, use:

plotly.open_stream(nPoints, nTraces, filename, layout);

… then the following for each trace:,data);

where data is the variable to send back to plotly. We use millis() as our example is logging data against time.

To put all that together, consider our example sketch with the hardware mentioned earlier:

// Code modified from example provied by

#include <SPI.h>
#include <Ethernet.h>
#include "plotly_ethernet.h"
#include "DHT.h"

// DHT Sensor Setup
#define DHTPIN 2               // We have connected the DHT to Digital Pin 2
#define DHTTYPE DHT22          // This is the type of DHT Sensor (Change it to DHT11 if you're using that model)
DHT dht(DHTPIN, DHTTYPE);      // Initialize DHT object
plotly plotly;                 // initialize a plotly object, named plotly

//initialize plotly global variables
char layout[]="{}";
char filename[] = "Office Weather and Light"; // name of the plot that will be saved in your plotly account -- resaving to the same filename will simply extend the existing traces with new data

float h, t, ll;
int lightLevel;

// Ethernet Setup
byte mac[] = { 0xDE, 0xAD, 0xBE, 0xEF, 0xFE, 0xED }; // doesn't really matter
byte my_ip[] = { 192, 168, 1, 77 }; // google will tell you: "public ip address"

void startEthernet(){
  Serial.println("Initializing ethernet");
  if(Ethernet.begin(mac) == 0){
    Serial.println("Failed to configure Ethernet using DHCP");
    // no point in carrying on, so do nothing forevermore:
    // try to congifure using IP address instead of DHCP:
    Ethernet.begin(mac, my_ip);
  Serial.println("Done initializing ethernet");

void setup() {
  // Open serial communications and wait for port to open:
  while (!Serial) {
    ; // wait for serial port to connect. Needed for Leonardo only

  dht.begin(); // initialize dht sensor reading
  startEthernet();    // initialize ethernet

    // Initialize plotly settings
  plotly.VERBOSE = true; // turn to false to suppress printing over serial
  plotly.DRY_RUN = false; // turn to false when you want to connect to plotly's servers 
  plotly.username = "yourplotlyusername"; // your plotly username -- sign up at or feel free to use this public account. password of the account is "password"
  plotly.api_key = "yourplotlyapikey"; // "public_arduino"'s api_key -- char api_key[10]
  plotly.timestamp = true; // tell plotly that you're stamping your data with a millisecond counter and that you want plotly to convert it into a date-formatted graph
  plotly.timezone = "Australia/Melbourne"; // full list of timezones is here:

void loop() 
  // gather data to plot
  h = dht.readHumidity(); // read humitidy from DHT pin
  t = dht.readTemperature();
  lightLevel = analogRead(A5);
  ll = lightLevel / 100; // reduce the value from the light sensor

  // Open the Stream
  plotly.open_stream(1, 3, filename, layout); // plotlystream(number_of_points, number_of_traces, filename, layout),t); // post temperature to plotly (trace 1)
  delay(150);,h); // post humidity to plotly (trace 2)
  delay(150);,lightLevel); // post light sensor readout to plotly (trace 3)

  for(int i=0; i<300; i++)
  { // (once every five minutes)

After wiring up the hardware and uploading the sketch, the data will be sent until the power is removed from the Arduino.

Monitoring sensor data

Now that your hardware is sending the data off to plotly, you can check it out in real time. Log into plotly and visit the data home page – – for example:

Your data file will be listed – so just click on the file name to be presented with a very basic graph. Over time you will see it develop as the data is received, however you may want to alter the display, headings, labels and so on. Generally you can click on trace labels, titles and so on to change them, the interface is pretty intuitive after a few moments. A quick screencast of this is shown in this video.

To view and analyse the raw data – and create all sorts of custom plots, graphs and other analysis – click the “view data in grid” icon which is the second from the left along the bar:

At which point your data will be displayed in a new tab:

From this point you can experiment to your heart’s content – just don’t forget to save your work. In a short amount of time your data can be presented visually and analysed with ease:


Although plotly is still in beta form, it works well and the developers are responsive to any questions – so there isn’t much more to say but give it a try yourself, doing so won’t cost you anything and you can see how useful plotly is for yourself. And if you enjoyed this article, or want to introduce someone else to the interesting world of Arduino – check out my book (now in a third printing!) “Arduino Workshop”.

Have fun and keep checking into Why not follow things on twitterGoogle+, subscribe  for email updates or RSS using the links on the right-hand column, or join our forum – dedicated to the projects and related items on this website. Sign up – it’s free, helpful to each other –  and we can all learn something.

The post Online data analysis with Arduino and plotly appeared first on tronixstuff.

Tronixstuff 21 Jan 05:29
analysis  api  arduino  data  ethernet  internet  iot  of  online  plotly  things  tronixstuff  tutorial  

APDuino Project – Custom Monitoring without Coding


[srejbi] shares a new, programming-free, API-based way to programming Arduino: the APDuino project (minimum hw requirements: Arduino Mega 2560 + W5100 EtherShield). The Apduino relates to a peculiar approach towards Arduino that I noticed in the last years: using Arduino and making things without coding. This is a good thing for people that can’t code, but has to be simpler than learning code itself.

The APDuino Project provides a turn-key software solution for building custom monitoring and automation systems with custom rulesets (featuring expression evaluator with access to sensor and control arrays), cron-like scheduler, remote access and management via HTTP, SD and online logging and more…

All *without* programming (if using supported hardware components) … allowing DIY’ers to build their own automation systems much quicker and easier.

– The image collage attached is showing parts of 1 realization I built (I have 4 completely different systems running, all using the same software ) — This one pictures an aquaponics monitoring system with 16 physical sensors (lots of 1-wire DS18B20′s chained, DHT-11, photoresistors, HY-SRF05 with mechanically inverted reading surface providing tank level monitoring, radio-controlled sockets allow pump and fan controls).

Other systems feature components such as vibration detector, pH probe, BMP085,DS1307 RTC.

via [], [Apduino on github]

Arduino Blog 15 Nov 12:42

Check Broadway Discounts with tkts Ticker Tape

If you’ve ever been to Times Square in New York City, you’re probably familiar with the tkts booth, which offers discounted Broadway tickets for same-day shows. Using an Arduino with an Ethernet Shield, a Staples Easy Button, and a thermal printer, Chris D’Angelo created a device that prints the current discount for each show. Since tkts doesn’t have a public API, Chris used their iPhone app and a man-in-the-middle proxy called mitmproxy to determine the URL that the app requests to get the latest data. The Arduino requests that URL and parses the response, which is then formatted for output on the serial thermal printer. Nice thinking! I’m definitely adding mitmproxy to my toolset. [via Adafruit]