General Introduction

How it started #

This online tutorial on Arduino, Sensors, IoT and LoRa technologies has been developed by University of Pau, France, in the context of the WAZIUP and WAZIHUB projects funded by the European Union in the H2020 research program. The main objective of this online tutorial is to provide comprehensive and guided training materials to be used in training, hackathons, bootcamps, entrepreneur’s days,… that are organized by WAZIUP/WAZIHUB across Africa. The main contributors are Mamour Diop, Muhammad Ehsan and Congduc Pham. Our main current research focus is on LoRa networks and IoT but this tutorial first start with basic of Arduino and sensor programming to understand sensing systems that are the foundation of so-called Internet-of-Things (IoT) concepts. Then in a second step, we will introduce some IoT protocols and technologies with a focus on LoRa radio technologies to show how to build low-cost, long-range and energy-efficient IoT devices.

WAZIUP & WAZHUB #

WAZIUP is a technology-driven EU-Africa project developing a fully open source IoT end-to-end (sensors, networking and software) platform, specialized to meet African needs/applications in terms of cost, energy, internet connectivity and simplicity. Congduc Pham is the scientific leader of the “Open IoT sensing and communication platform” workpackage which tasks are to develop an open, low-cost and long-range LoRa IoT framework. Interested readers can find many resources from our github on the low-cost LoRa IoT framework and from Congduc Pham’s tutorial/talks web page.

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WAZIHUB (in Swahili for Open-Hub) is an innovation project for Africa aiming to create an open hub of IoT and Big data cutting-edge and African grade solutions, co-designed by African people. The vision of WAZIHUB is to exploit IoT potential and share IoT technologies best-practices through the involvement of innovation communities and stakeholder (e.g. young entrepreneur (including woman), startup, developer, innovation hub) from local district, regional, national and African-wide. The project aims to enable the creation of Open Hubs throughout Africa where IoT technology solutions can then be adapted to match local service needs. The project goal is to iterate and extract value from spining-off value-added IoT innovative services (e.g. monitoring, controlling, data analytic) based on the technologies developed in WAZIUP.

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Boosting innovation in Africa #

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Getting started with sensors, microcontrollers and towards IoT #

sensors

A device that detects the changes in electrical or physical or other quantities and thereby produces an output as an acknowledgement of change in the quantity is called as a Sensor. Generally, this sensor output will be in the form of electrical or optical signal.

The world is full of sensors: from passive infrared sensors in motion detectors, to carbon monoxide detectors in air conditioning systems, and even tiny accelerometers, GPS modules, and cameras inside your smartphone and tablet—sensors are everywhere! The variety of sensor applications is remarkable. Thanks to the proliferation of mobile devices, sensors are now remarkably affordable, meaning you can combine inexpensive sensors and microcontroller boards to make your own devices.

In this tutorial, we will learn how to process sensor data with Arduino popular microcontroller development boards for electronics enthusiasts. With the ability to control components such as buzzers, LED’s, servos, motors, LCD’s,… through analog and digital pins, Arduino boards have become the go-to selection for users that are looking to start into electronics, firmware coding, or automation. For more details visit the Arduino web site.

For users who want to go further and understand in more details sensor technologies, they can have a look at this page on Sensors and Transducers from www.electronics-tutorials.ws. Then, they can also look at this very interesting Adafruit tutorial on sensor calibration.

Objects with physical sensors that are able to communicate are at the foundation of IoT systems. There are many available resources on IoT and a search for “IoT video” on search engines will provide a lot of great links. Here are 5 links on nice videos you can start with.

There is also the great initiative from iot-open.eu with the “Introduction to the IoT Coursebook” that can be downloaded from this link. A lot of resources can also be found on the IoT European Research Cluster (IERC) web site, especially in the document section.

Regarding do-it-yourself resources for tech-enthusiasts and hobbyists, there are many available web sites that will provide complementary step-by-step tutorials on a large variety of IoT-related projects:

Enjoy!

2018 - Muhammad Ehsan, Mamour Diop & Congduc Pham