In just 6 short minutes, you can learn how to connect Raspberry Pis using Node-RED and Watson IoT Platform in order to bring a dinosaur to life (or, make a toy dinosaur move and make noise anyway). IoT really is becoming the Internet of Everything!

 

In this video:

In this video, Chris Anderson demonstrates how to use Node-RED and Watson IoT Platform to connect Raspberry Pi with SenseHat sensors to control a toy dinosaur. The sensor data is sent back to Watson IoT, which processes it, and then triggers the dinosaur when certain criteria are met.


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For this project, you connect two Raspberry Pi devices to Watson IoT Platform, and you use Node-RED flows to send sensor data to and receive sensor data from Watson IoT Platform for each of those devices with SenseHat sensors on them.

You can learn how to connect a Raspberry Pi to Watson IoT Platform using Node-RED by following this Getting Started recipe or by watching this video:

While Node-RED has built in functions, it also includes function nodes where you can include your own JavaScript programming. You can also use Node-RED to create a flow to process or manage the sensor data in Watson IoT Platform and then send the data back to each of the Raspberry Pi devices. As you move the one Raspberry Pi with the SenseHat on it, the dinosaur connected to the other Raspberry Pi begins moving.

The Watson IoT Platform provides all of the cloud infrastructure and connectivity that you need for such a solution; it includes a dashboard where you can see the data flow.

While this particular demo worked with a toy dinosaur, it does show how it might make robots on a manufacturing line move, industrial process controllers respond, or door locks open.

Watson IoT Platform brings cognitive computing and advanced analytics to your business or home and ultimately makes operations more efficient. Watson IoT Platform gives you the tools to make data more meaningful and devices more impactful. By capturing and using data from devices anywhere with Watson IoT Platform, you can understand and act on that critical data in real time and over an extended period of time.

Related video:

This demonstration was inspired by the workshops run at Blackgang Chine, the oldest theme park in the UK, which is located on the Isle of Wight. The park owners wanted to enhance the animatronics that are used in the dinosaur land of the park to make the dinosaurs interact more with people instead of just going through a set of preset notions. The park owners had Dr. Lucy Rogers, one of the judges on Robot Wars, host workshops (called “jams”) to “hack a dinosaur.” Andy Stanford-Clark (follow on Twitter), IBM Distinguished Engineer and Master Inventor, demonstrated Node-RED and Watson IoT, and the teams were off and running. Watch this 3-minute video to discover how they brought the dinosaurs to life with these innovative technologies:

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