DIY IoT: New Arduino kit makes it easier to build connected devices

Arduino recently announced the ESLOV, a kit for building and programming Internet of Things devices with no programming skills necessary.

Image: Arduino

A new kit from Arduino could make it much easier for tinkerers and DIY geeks to build their own Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The ESLOV kit, announced via blog post in late September, uses pre-built modules to help users build IoT devices with no programming knowledge.

Arduino is an open source project that is primarily known for the Arduino boards, which are used in conjunction with its development environment in a host of microcontroller projects. Now, with the rise of IoT, Arduino is finding renewed interest from consumers looking to build connected, or smart, devices.

The ESLOV kit is available with up to 25 modules, such as "buttons, LEDs, air quality sensors, microphones, servos, and several others," the blog post said. Some of the examples cited in the post were a connected notification system that would tell you when your laundry is done, or a thermostat modification that would allow you to control the temperature in your home from far away.

SEE: 12 great Arduino kits for the DIY geek to build

The modules themselves can be connected with small cables and programmed from your computer. The modules can be programmed through a visual code editor, the post said, which allows users to simply draw lines between the modules they want to connect. Once complete, the device is published to the Arduino Cloud and can be engaged from a user's smartphone or desktop.

However, if a customer doesn't want to use the Visual Editor, they can opt to program with the more traditional Arduino Editor instead. All of the hardware and software involved in the project is open source, the post said, and users can bring in third-party modules for their projects as well.

According to the Arduino post, the main hub for the kit has a Microchip SAM D21 ARM Cortex-M0+ MCU and it comes with built-in Wi-Fi capabilities. The smaller modules leverage the Microchip ATmega328P processor. Firmware and software can be updated via USB or OTA.

While known for its microcontroller work, Arduino can also be a great way to learn to code. Also, a host of vendors, including Microsoft, have recently announced support for Arduino in their IoT initiatives, further increasing the appeal of the kit.

Kits are available ranging from $55-499, depending on what is chosen, and shipment is expected by summer 2017. The company is currently fundraising on Kickstarter.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. The new Arduino ESLOV kit could make it easier to build IoT devices with pre-built modules and easy programming.
  2. The kit is composed of a hub and individual modules that can be programmed with a Visual Editor.
  3. Arduino is growing in the IoT space, with companies like Microsoft adding support in their own IoT platforms.

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