Category Archives: science

IoT : Make THINGS Alive

IoT technology is helping humans to create eco-system which would be social in nature. Think about human race which was not so social millions of years back. As we started living in tribes, humans started progressing in terms of all aspects of life. This progress is happened just because of sharing of thoughts, ideas and information.

THINGS (devices) in our current environment continuously help us in our day to day activities. These THINGS currently not social , that means those do not interact with each other like we humans do. But in future, these THINGS would communicate with each other fluently, which we call as M2M communication.

Thinking about implementation of IoT technology in our current environment shall enable us to make every dead THING alive. For example, think about STONE telling about its age, Think about a TREE telling you about its problems or think about a river, whose flow gets contaminated at every other corner, starts complaining about the culprits to government authorities (see a complete River monitoring system further).

The idea if making every THING alive is so awesome.

If you are working or going to work in IoT, just think that you are putting soul inside those THINGS for betterment f our eco-system. This thought shall help us to build eco-system which would be more social and interactive.

Following is my thought on using IoT technology to giving life to rivers (I guess rivers give us life by providing us water, this is just we are paying back)

IoT : River Life Line (River Monitoring System)

This is conceptual design of IoT : River Monitoring system called River Life Line. There are two major sections :

  • Floating System : It consists of sensors , floating module, communication mechanism. This part of system shall help in reading health of flowing water in river. As river flows through the different parts of region/state, every city/town shall have this monitoring system fitted inside river bed. Sensors shall read different contamination levels which affects city population (which drinks water from river) and living things inside river. This data shall be communicated to River Monitoring system.
IoT : River Life Line
IoT : River Life Line
  • Central Monitoring System : This is cloud system which shall receive river health data from different parts of river. This system shall consolidate data, analyse t. Based on its analysis, it shall communicate with two systems i.e. Municipal Corporation Office, Water Purification Department of City.

While river flows through different parts of region, different entities like factories, City sewage system contaminates water of river. Floating modules at different locations send river contamination data to Central system. Central system after analysing can send penalty amount to municipal office of particular city based on contamination done by that city or town. This mechanism is of reactive nature.

Central system can also send water contamination data to City’s water purification department. Based on contamination level it can take appropriate action. Level of purification can be improved or reduced based on contamination level.

River Monitoring System eco-system

If you have any suggestions / questions, please do let me know.

Happy Making !!!

IoT : Encounter with ESP8266-201 Module

Came to know about new module called ESP8266-201 for IoT experiments , when Heramb MakerLab arranged one session with one of the makers ( Hemant worked in Tieto) on IoT.

It sounds like good Rs. 500 investment for experimenting and learning this new IoT module. I ordered immediately following two items online from one of the vendors on Lamington Road, Mumbai :

  1. ESP8266 ESP-201 WiFi board with full I/O and PCB antenna  : This is actual module which needs to be programmed as a controller along with thing to communicate with internet or home network.
  2. FT232RL Based High Quality USB to TTL Module : This is module for loading the program into ESP module. It can also provide initial power for ESP module during prototyping phase.

Ref :

For running first program on ESP module, you would need following additional hardware :

  • LED
  • Resistor – 220 ohm
  • Jumper wires

By the time I got the modules, I started reading about ESP more. I worked with Raspberry Pi extensively and also developed one IoT prototype for sensing room temperature and sending the data to cloud system.  Working with Arduino IDE and ESP specially was little new area to me.

Step 1 : Installing / Updating Arduino IDE to support ESP8266 boards.

–          Install Arduino 1.6.5 from the Arduino website.

–          Start Arduino and open Preferences window.

–          Enter into Additional Board Manager URLs field. You can add multiple URLs, separating them with commas.

–          Open Boards Manager from Tools > Board menu and install esp8266 platform (and don’t forget to select your ESP8266 board from Tools > Board menu after installation).

Ref :

ESP-8226 Board inside Arduino IDE

Step 2 : Connecting ESP module with USB to TTL Module

Use following diagram as reference and make connections.

ESP8266-201 and USB-TTL Module

Step 4 : Connect USB to TTL module to Laptop / Computer

Once you make connection, Red LED on ESP shall get light up.

Step 5 : Upload program to ESP module via Arduino IDE

There is sample program already written in example folder. Open that program to update SSID and Password of your WiFi network, so updated program can be uploaded onto ESP module.

Open Program (Sketch)

Once changes are done, click on upload button on top left hand side. Don’t worry if you are getting errors, recheck the connections and try again.

Program shown in picture is different
Program Uploaded Successfully

Once program is uploaded disconnect the GPIO-0 wire and toggle the power of ESP module (You can just remove USB from laptop and plug it again)

Step 6 : Run program on ESP module and verify THING (ESP /module) is getting connected to home WiFi network

I use android app called Fing to check connected devices inside my home network. This app helps to identify IP address on ESP module, which we can use for operating GPIO-2 of ESP Module (To which we have connected LED).

Step 8 : Operate LED via browser on mobile or Laptop (inside Home network)

You can turn ON/OFF LED from your mobile browser or from any device which is inside your home network.


I enjoyed learning about ESP module by making this project, hope you shall enjoy too. There is lot more to learn abut this module and how to utilize this to satisfy your home automation needs. Next thing, I am learning is Souliss Framework for home automation. This framework can be installed on any Arduino and ESP modules. Let us make something out of Souliss next time.

Happy Making!!!

References :

Following blogs and online sources help me a lot in understanding the ESP and its different variants :

(Good to understand the latest ESP module and understand its basic PIN reference)

(This link does not provide instructions for latest module of ESP , but was handy for me to burn the program on ESP using Arduino IDE)

(Helped me to update the Arduino IDE to support  programming for ESP board)

Fritzing :

Maker Movement India : Fill in the Blanks

When I got exposed to Maker Movement about a year back, it was realization of existence of my own idea. I always wanted to have such a culture and space(Maker Space) around me to explore wide possibilities of making/innovation. I even thought of having fully equipped workshop for engineering / non-engineering students so they can utilized their after school time by engaging themselves with new ideas. Exposure to maker movement gave me different view point about this concept. Maker media then given me access to different types of projects, which I found very interesting and appealing.

Main entity of Maker Movement is Maker Faire, which gives platform to makers to showcase their projects/skills/talent (which most of the time goes unnoticed). To sustain Making culture, appreciation of making skills is necessary, which I suppose Maker Faire does it fairly. ( Till this time I only seen maker faire on internet, electronic media).

It is not the case that we Indians are not aware of making things, rather we are expert in making things (if we looks at our traditional collections). Though we have good skills like handicraft , hand loom etc , we never explore making culture in technology side. If we wish to explore this area of making , then it is necessary for our generation to set right environment and culture. I believe that Maker Movement can help us in setting up right environment .

There are quite few Maker Spaces popping around India, but we still need to have many more Maker Spaces/ Fab Labs around India, at least one in every medium size town. Arranging small small Maker Faires would attract more and more youngsters to these Maker Spaces.

Apart from setting up this infrastructure and creating right mind set among us, it is great responsibility of our generation to fill in the blanks to sustain Maker Eco-system in India.

Following picture shows Eco-system players in USA. Few of the players can become players in Indian Maker Culture too. But then we have to form a league which would take the roles of these players according to Maker Culture of India.


Fill in the Blanks : Please see if you can find the answers to players which have been strike out or are you ready to take that as an opportunity 🙂

Figure2-The_maker_ecosystem2 - Copy

Reference :

Maker spaces which I am aware of (In Maharashtra) :

I know there must be more maker spaces around, share if you know. Also share if you are aware of Maker Eco system players  in India.

Happy Making!!!

Atul N Yadav


Tiny Miracle : Raspberry Pi

First time I saw this incredibly small computer , I was surprised.I thought how one credit card size electronic board can be connected to your TV , USB keyboard and mouse and then covert your home TV into your full fledge computer.Preciously  I had came across small micro controller, integrated circuits (ICs), but they had limited usage. School students may not get access to such instruments  as these instruments may not be directly used by layman.

Raspberry pi puts itself in different category as it can be used out of box immediately. It works on Unix platform , precisely Rasbian (Raspberry + Dabian). So it can be used in areas where normal computers are not affordable but you still want to give access to computing. This tiny giant not only useful for kids but can also challenge ,more precisely attract ,engineers (makers) to learn about itself. As it works on Unix , it requires us to do some command prompt stuff ,though it has attractive user interface(desktop). But the kids can get comfortable to work on command prompt, which is more important than working with mouse( I believe). It also help kids to learn few visualizing and musical softwares like Scratch, Sonic Pi.
It also helps kids to understand and get access to work with GPIOs (General Process Inputs/Outputs). It allows them to program these GPIOs so they can see computers interaction with physical world like LEDs, motors etc. This interaction can help kids to learn the computing concepts more quickly.

It also can connect to USB microphone to detect your voice and write some voice controlled programs.
More powerful thing it can do ,is to capture images using USB camera or Raspberry pi camera module. Then you can write program to do some image processing.People had also connected the raspberry Pi to internet to showcase IoT (Internet of things) concept.
Raspberry pi allows kids to learn from simple program and holds capacity to allow them to learn machine level programming risking less money ( of their fathers)
So if you want to buy computer/laptop for your kid then you can think of this tiny miracle but before that you can start exploring what this raspberry pi do 🙂

P.S. if you are in pune you can get in touch with Heramb MakerLab to learn about Raspberry Pi

Ref :

Pandora’s Box

Since the day I started learning engineering , I always felt that there is something missing, something basic. This something is not allowing me to achieve satisfaction of my creative work.  Suddenly I came across one facebook video (rather You Tube on Facebook), which caught my attention. That video was showing how one machine can convert one design of Spanner into real 3D object in one box like machine. That curiosity pushed me to dig more about this new amazing machine. That machine turned out to be 3D printer. I started imagining how would one use this machine. I realized that people like designers, students of architecture and engineering , even students of high school can use this machine to covert their ideas into reality in their classroom/design room. The power of this machine is unimaginable. You can only limit your imagination but not the capability of this machine. That is what made 3D printer more famous in the span of last 4-5 years.

Ultimately I bought this Pandora’s Box and started converting my ideas into reality. The satisfaction of creation is beyond the expression I could put in words here. I wish you could feel , you could experience this with your own eyes and hands.