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Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Arduino adds cloud connection for professional IoT boost

By Nick Flaherty www.flaherty.co.uk

Open source specialist Arduino has launched an IoT Cloud as part of its professional IoT strategy. 
The cloud capability is aimed at embedded developers and system integrators as well as Arduio's more traditional maker hobbyists as an easy-to-use Internet of Things application platform.

"With the launch of the Arduino IoT Cloud, Arduino now provides its millions of users with a complete end-to-end approach to IoT that includes hardware, firmware, cloud services, and knowledge. This public beta release of the Arduino IoT Cloud, with automatic dashboard generation, webhooks support, and full TLS secure transport, will be an invaluable asset to users,” said Luca Cipriani, Arduino CIO

The Arduino IoT Cloud now allows users to program Arduino boards which prevously had to be done using the Sketch language. Arduino IoT Cloud will quickly and automatically generate a sketch when setting up a new thing, enabling a developer to achieve a working device within five minutes of unboxing a board. The Arduino IoT Cloud also allows other methods of interaction, including HTTP REST API, MQTT, command-line tools, JavaScript, and WebSockets.

Massimo Banzi, CTO and Co-founder of Arduino, commented: “Arduino now offers a complete platform with the MKR family, providing a streamlined way to create local IoT nodes and edge devices. These use a range of connectivity options and compatibility with third-party hardware, gateway, and cloud systems. The Arduino IoT Cloud allows users to manage, configure and connect not only Arduino hardware but also the vast majority of Linux-based devices – truly democratizing IoT development.”

Designed for seamless IoT development the MKR form factor delivers embedded connectivity and very low power consumption in a compact size. These features make the boards the most suitable solution for emerging battery-powered IoT edge applications, such as environmental monitoring, tracking, agriculture, energy monitoring, and industrial automation. To highlight how the Arduino IoT Cloud would work in tandem with the MKR family in a real-world solution, Banzi cites an agricultural example, where low power and alternative connectivity options are essential: “Suppose we want to build an IoT greenhouse, the goal is to control this greenhouse remotely, i.e. to be able to turn on and off the lights, start the irrigation system, and read and adjust the temperature inside the greenhouse, all without the need for human intervention. The complete system can be automated and controlled using an Arduino MKR WIFI 1010 board along with the Arduino IoT Cloud.

“Simply attach the relevant sensors (e.g. temperature, light, and humidity sensors), actuators (e.g. irrigation pump), and switches (lights and fan) to the board. Upload the software (Arduino Sketch) and it will be ready in minutes to automatically control the properties of the actuators (e.g. activate the ventilation fans when there is too much humidity in the greenhouse) via a simple web interface.

“The properties are stored in the Arduino IoT Cloud and can be remotely changed from there without the need to visit the greenhouse. Once this is all in place, the system will wait for events and react to them as necessary – perfectly controlling the environment within the greenhouse. It’s even possible to take this automation one step further, as we’ve seen a solution developed based on Arduino to establish and indicate when the fruit is perfectly ripe for harvest on a commercial farm.”

The IoT Cloud includes secure provision, connection and authentication of devices in the field and ensures all data transmitted between the device and Arduino’s cloud is confidential and tamper-proof. Client authentication (X.509 certificates) is adopted for asymmetric-key based authentication, while Transport Layer Security (TLS) is used for securing all traffic to and from IoT Cloud.

There is also a way to use webhooks to let the Arduino Things interact with other services like IFTT, Google Spreadsheet, and Zapier.

www.arduino.cc/en/IoT/HomePage or create.arduino.cc/iot to download.

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