Build a network of Smart Trash Cans with ARTIK

At CES 2016, we showcased a few tools that anyone can leverage for fast development on ARTIK boards. Here on the blog, we’ll walk you through those presentations in more detail. First up is our demo of Smart Trash Cans powered by ARTIK.

For those new to the platform, we are introducing SAMI (we like to call it “ARTIK’s Cloud”), Temboo, and the Arduino library for ARTIK.

  • SAMI is Samsung’s own cloud service. It is an open, cloud-based data exchange platform that eases IoT development.
  • Temboo provides integration with hundreds of web services, and it can auto-generate code for the ARTIK platform.
  • Arduino is an open-source prototyping platform which has gained popularity among millions of developers and users. As ARTIK is now Arduino-compatible, our users can take advantage of Arduino’s developer platform and community resources.

For our first demo, we have three Smart Trash Cans connected to a network. Each trash can has a distance sensor hooked up underneath its lid that detects the trash levels inside the can. An ARTIK powers each trash can and acts as an edge device. Meanwhile, all of these ARTIK edge devices communicate with an ARTIK gateway device using the MQTT messaging protocol.

Once a trash can is full, a Zendesk customer service ticket is created to notify a facility manager that it is time to empty the trash can. Because ARTIK edge devices talk to an ARTIK gateway device, they can easily determine the trash levels of the other cans in the same network. In case every trash can is full, a facility manager will get a call alert that the trash cans must be emptied immediately. When a trash can is emptied, the date and time will be marked in Google Calendar.

In this demo, we integrated three web service APIs with our application: Zendesk customer service ticketing API, Nexmo Voice API, and Google Calendar API. As a developer, you know that writing and integrating all this code yourself can easily take weeks. By using Temboo, we can auto-generate the code for ARTIK in minutes. If you are new to Temboo, please take a minute to check their online tutorial and our blog post.

For MQTT communication, ARTIK boards are pre-loaded with the popular MQTT broker mosquitto, so you only need to launch mosquitto in the background on the ARTIK gateway board. On the ARTIK edge devices, we used the open source Eclipse-Paho APIs for MQTT client integration.

(Editor’s note: You can also use MQTT with Node-RED and ARTIK. See our tutorials in the documentation section for more information.)

What we love about the Smart Trash Cans demo is that it is easy to understand, it takes little time to set up, and the concepts can be extended to a Smart City infrastructure.

We hope you like the development tools we have presented here, and can come up with even more innovative ways to use them. Stay tuned for our next demo, featuring an Integrated Smart Home.

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