ISE Blog

How to Explore IoT with Three Fun Projects

IoT Smart Alarm ClockIf you have been thinking about exploring concepts and projects related to IoT, but have not been able to decide where to jump in, this blog post is for you!  While there are dozens of online courses, many of those fail to provide hands on experience that can resonate and help you understand some of the concepts involved in IoT.  So with that in mind, here are three avenues you can explore IoT with varying levels of cost, time, and hardware involved.

1. Smart alarm clock

https://www.instructables.com/id/IoT-Smart-Alarm-Clock-Open-Source-Project/ 

Sure you have a phone for this, but that’s the beauty of this no pressure Smart Alarm Clock IoT project.  If you fail to get it completed in a timely manner, you’ll still be waking up for work on time.  You have detailed specs to look through, practical step-by-step videos from a variety of sources given the number of people that have explored this project, and it’s open sourced!  Another plus to this project is that you can start with a baseline feature set and add more as time and interest allows, so once you get the basics down the only limiting factory is your creativity. 

2. Dog Poop Tracker

https://www.instructables.com/id/Uber-Home-Automation-w-Arduino-Pi/  

Poop happens, especially if you have a dog.  If you are tired of stepping on those brown gems, especially on a hot summer day when running through the sprinkler, then this Dog Poop Tracker IoT project is for you!  If you thought IoT has hit peak silly with this project, that may be true, but imagine the sense of satisfaction of not stepping in it next time.  This project allows you to be alerted, via your smartphone, whenever your dog does their business.  From a technical perspective you get to have a remote sensor connected to a network and alert a device remotely – all the basics you could want to learn Iot with no mess to step in. 

3. Star Wars® BB8 Droid

https://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Life-Size-Phone-Controlled-BB8-Droid/ 

While the previous two projects cover the basics of IoT (sensors, network connection, interaction with another device), the Star Wars® BB8 droid is definitely a more involved project.  If you enjoy the little droid from the most recent Star Wars series, this is your project.  It will require some significant model assembly of the BB-8 replica droid, but as you can see in video from the link above, it does look like the real thing.  You have multiple sensors connected over a network to your controlling device, and if you want you can go beyond the basics and expand things in terms of sounds, reactions, and interactions with the outside world.  It could also make for a great group project for the classroom – what student wouldn’t get excited about bringing Star Wars to life right in front of their eyes!


There you have it, three fun projects to explore IoT.  Got an IoT idea that you want to explore for the marketplace?  Contact us, we can help.

Hudson Ludvigson, Senior Software Engineer

Hudson Ludvigson, Senior Software Engineer

Hudson Ludvigson is a Senior Software Engineer and the Practice Lead in Vehicle Telematics at Innovative Software Engineering. He has been with ISE since March 2006. He enjoys the diversity of the software engineering field and how it impacts and improves peoples' everyday life, particularly in the domains of agriculture, business, finance, and medicine. In his downtime he can be found enjoying college football and outdoor recreational sports, or spending time with his family.