Is Arduino An IoT Device?

When we create IoT projects with Arduino, we have several ways of monitoring the data that we capture through the sensors. The most basic and requires having the device connected to a computer is through the serial monitor. If we have a display such as an LCD or a TFT screen, we can disconnect the Arduino from the computer and take it anywhere. But there is a third option, perhaps the most suitable, to see the data and information and use a platform for IoT projects.

In this article about is Arduino an IoT device? we are going to convince you to start managing your data in the cloud. You will discover many platforms of all kinds, with free, paid, and open-source licenses. We will put more emphasis on those that are aimed at Makers (curious) and startups. These IoT platforms offer cool features for free.

IoT Projects With Arduino

In addition to viewing the information, some of these platforms allow you to have a history of the data. This falls within what is known as Big Data (handling large amounts of data and information). Once the information is stored, various prediction and management techniques can be applied.

IoT Projects With Arduino, Why Should You Use A Platform?

In these times, we have more straightforward access to the Internet increasingly. From anywhere in the world and any situation. Some processes of our projects need real-time supervision, especially when we are testing and prototyping IoT projects.

A simple and inexpensive way to see what happens is through an IoT platform. The biggest drawback that exists, a priori, is the technical knowledge required. Later we will see that this will depend on the platform we use.

To understand each other, we are going to see a straightforward example. Surely you know the typical weather stations for domestic use. These types of devices usually have a sensor and a display where the data is shown. We place the sensor in that room or area where we want to take measurements. We place the display in a visible place, where we can easily see the information.

Weather Station

Although there are different models and brands, it is difficult and expensive to find one that allows us to have historical meteorological data and even consult the information when we are not at home.

As we will see throughout this article, we can create our weather station straightforward and cheap way. But above all, we will be free to store the information wherever we want and, with a minimum knowledge of web development, display the information on a mobile device, tablet, or PC.

But not only a weather station, but we can also monitor a freezer or control an automatic irrigation system from a mobile.

General Scheme For IoT Projects With Arduino

Before we get to see the different platforms, it is interesting to get a general idea of ​​a system based on cloud platforms. Three main elements are involved in this system:

  • The connected or IoT device
  • The cloud platform
  • The devices that consume the information on the IoT platform
  • general scheme of the IoT platform

Each of these systems is treated separately, and they communicate with each other through communication protocols. These protocols should be a standard so that, regardless of the platform, they can communicate.

IoT Platforms

Later we will see the different platforms that are on the market. We will focus primarily on those that give us free access, even if it is limited. We find platforms exclusively oriented to IoT projects and other platforms that offer multiple services for an entire IoT system within this category.

The most widely used communication protocols are HTTP, MQTT, and CoAP. In addition, to communicate, there are different networks such as LoRa or Sigfox. They are WAN networks for the IoT and an alternative to traditional communication systems.

Data Access API

This is something significant that must be considered when creating IoT projects with Arduino. Having an API (Application Programming Interface) will allow us to consult, modify and delete information from other devices.

In the end, we have to understand that it is a standard communication layer to connect to the data. There are different protocols and standards. The most used would be through RESTful web services. Access to said API will depend on the software from where we connect. If it is a web application, frameworks such as jQuery, AngularJS or React, make this task much more accessible. Check smart home devices.

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