First IoT Leeds Meetup

First IoT Leeds Meetup

The IoT Community regularly get together for events across the country. Matt Fleming writes about the recent inaugural IoT Leeds meetup. If you want to find one close to you, visit www.meetup.com.

On 19th June, IoT developers, hobbyists, and entrepreneurs gathered for the initial IoT Leeds meetup at Future Labs, a tech hub in the centre of Leeds. Claire Garside and Dr. Andrew Robinson from the ConnectedHull project talked about how the Internet of Things is creating new ways for communities to solve their problems. Gergely Imreh provided a live demonstration of how Resin.io is simplifying IoT software development.

ConnectedHull’s mission is to empower local communities to solve their problems by building digital devices. Claire and Andrew explained how their workshops, sometimes given inside the Hull Central Library, teach attendees to build simple but powerful data-collection devices using Raspberry Pi’s, Envirophat’s, and blockly.

These devices collect data and transmit it to the ConnectedHull project via The Things Network, a low power radio network with no subscription or connection fees. Many cities have their own basestations that connect to The Things Network, and since no license is required, anyone can install one for their area.

Andrew explained that while the project initially started as an educational programme for school children, many engineers find the simple construction process especially useful for prototyping.

Gergely, Community Lead at Resin.io, gave a brief overview of how Resin.io are adopting the cloud development paradigm for deploying software to IoT devices, thereby simplifying the development lifecycle.

Traditionally, embedded developers were needed to create and install new software on a typical IoT device, which usually involved a cumbersome update procedure; update failures often resulted in inoperable devices.

Resin.io are aiming to provide a more familiar interface for developers, using tools like git, Docker, and a web dashboard to quickly, and safely, deploy software to a variety of IoT devices. Gergely entertained the audience by giving a live demonstration, uploading new software via http://resin.io to a Raspberry Pi sitting one metre away.

Will Newton, organiser of IoT Leeds, explained how bringing together people with different backgrounds can kickstart conversations for solving problems in the IoT space.

“The main benefit I find of going to meetups is that you get to have unexpected conversations with people you wouldn’t always come into contact with day to day. IoT in particular is a broad and evolving field so there are lots of people approaching similar issues from different directions and getting these people together in one place allows people to exchange ideas and solve problems in ways they might not have been able to on their own”, he said.

“Also I think more and more people working from home so it’s nice to have events that make you feel you are part of your local community and interact with people face to face for a change.”

The next IoT Leeds Meetup is planned for 24th July at Futurelabs.

About the author: Matt Fleming is a freelance writer and software developer. You can find his writings at www.codeblueprint.co.uk.

Matt Fleming
matt@codeblueprint.co.uk
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