Tag Archives: IFTTT

Smart IoT Postbox with Arduino, ESP-01, and idIoTware Shield

When you are waiting for a very important letter to come, it’s really bothersome to go and check the post box again and again. The problem gets worse when you are not at home and anxiously thinking if the letter arrived or not. Well, now IoT or Internet Of Things is your savior.

Following this project by CuriosityGym, you can make your own smart IoT post box that sends you an email as soon as a letter is dropped into it.

Requirements :

  1. Arduino UNO
  2. idIoTware shield
  3. USB cable (A to B)
  4. Esp 8266 – 01 programmed with ESP-link firmware
  5. One jumper
  6. One Postbox (You can make it yourself)
  7. External 9v 1A Power adapter
  8. Double sided sticky tape
  9. Arduino UNO code (Download it)

Description :

The concept is not complicated at all. The idIoTware Shield has a set of RGB LED and an LDR. The RGB LED always emits white light and it’s received by the LDR. As soon as a letter is dropped, there is an interruption in light. The change in light intensity is sensed by LDR and processed by Arduino. Finally, ESP 8266 connects to IFTTT network and sends an email to a saved email ID.

IdIoTware Shield For ArduinoUNO
idIoTware Shield For Arduino UNO

IFTTTIFTTT is a free web-based service that allows users to create chains of simple conditional statements, called “applets”, which are triggered based on changes to other web services such as Gmail, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. IFTTT is an abbreviation of “If This Then That”.

This can be explained using a simple analogy: “If the battery is empty then charge it”.

Watch this video for more information on IFTTT.

Procedure :

Simply place the idIoTware shield on Arduino UNO and Connect the esp8266(01) module to the ESP-01 header on the top right, such that the antenna is facing outside (See the image given below). It’s important to connect a jumper to CH_PD pin on the shield.

Smart IoT Postbox using Arduino and IdIoTware Shield
Smart IoT Postbox using Arduino and IdIoTware Shield

To make an IFTTT applet, go to IFTTT.com and make an account. Then, you need to make an applet as “If Maker then Gmail“. So, select Maker by searching and add your Maker channel (in URL field). Now, search for Gmail and select it. Define whom to and what to mail. Finish your applet, and you are all set.

Finally, upload the code to Arduino UNO. Once the code is uploaded,  place the Arduino with double sided sticky tape inside the post box. Don’t forget to insulate the Arduino from metallic body of the postbox.

Testing :

Power the Arduino from a 9V adapter and connect it to a serial monitor. Now post a letter in the postbox and you will see the message “New Letter!!” in the serial monitor. When you check your email you will find a mail saying the same.

For a better understanding, watch the video:

Water Tank Overflow Alarm System Using ESP8266

Sometimes the float valve of a water tank may not work properly causing water to overflow and spread across the floor. Peter Jennings faced this problem in his storage area, and he had developed an alarm device to notify him when the water exceeds its normal range.

Peter’s project includes a simple water sensor and ESP8266 wifi module connected with power switch circuit. When the water reach a specific threshold, the sensor will trig the switch to turn on the ESP8266, which will connect to a wireless network and send a message to a web server.

ESP8266 is a wifi module contains System-On-Chip (SOC) with integrated TCP/IP protocol stack that can give any microcontroller access to any WiFi network. The ESP8266 is capable of either hosting an application or offloading all Wi-Fi networking functions from another application processor. There are various versions of ESP8266 differ in size, shape and price. Peter used this $1.5 module, and you you are free in choosing your ESP8266 board.

ESP8266 ESP-01 Board
ESP8266 ESP-01 Board

Mini Pushbutton Power Switch from Pololu, an electronics manufacturer and an online retailer, is the power switch circuit used in this project. It is a $4 power control alternative to bulky mechanical switches which is able to turn on and off any device using the mini push button on the board, the external on & off pins, or a control signal. This low-voltage version operates from 2.2 V to 20 V and can deliver continuous currents up to around 6 A.

Mini Pushbutton Power Switch Board and Dimensions
Mini Pushbutton Power Switch Board and Dimensions

sensorThe sensor which is used to detect the overflow is very simple, it is just two wires pinned inside the tank above the highest level that water should reach. One of these wires is connected t
o the Vin pin, and the other is connected to CTRL pin on the switch circuit. DC current will flow between the two wires when the water pass the limit sending a control signal to turn on the Wifi module.

This combination is powered by a range of 3 volts to 3.6 volts battery pack. The circuits should be connected as shown in the diagram:


You have to create your own web server which will receive the message from the ESP8266 and notify you. If you are not familiar with web development you can use IFTTT, a free web-based service that allows users to create chains of simple conditional statements which are triggered based on changes to other web services.

To use IFTTT, you have to create your own account, then proceed to the Maker Channel to create a Trigger event. IFTTT will give you the URL to enter into the ESP8266 code. You can set the alarm to run a ringtone on your android device, tweet on your twitter account, post in facebook, send an email, and a lot of other choices.


There are also many ways to program the ESP8266. Peter used the simple NodeMCU Lua system, but for Arduino fans there is an Arduino firmware installation available for the ESP8266 which can also be used to implement the simple firmware required.

Additional information and other resources are reachable at the project page. You can also find some useful tutorials and links about using the ESP8266 and LuaLoader or getting started with ESP8266 on Peter’s website.

Time Machine – A Smart Clock That Does What You Say Using Alexa Voice Service

With a controller and a seven segment display, showing the time is not a so special feature, but when this clock can listen to the user and do what they want, that’s what worth highlighting a “Time Machine”.

Analysing human voice and take action based on that is not so simple. That’s why using a ready made solution is needed.
Intelligent personal assistant (IPA) is a software designed to perform tasks specified by user voice instructions. Alexa from Amazon, Google Now and Siri from Apple are examples of intelligent personal assistant software.

Some IPAs are designed to be integrated within IoT devices and Alexa is one of them. Amazon has an intelligent cloud service that allows developers to voice-enable any connected product only using a microphone and speaker, it’s called Alexa Voice Service (AVS).

Nick Triantafillou in his project, “Time Machine” used AVS to take the voice command.
The project contains Raspberry Pi 3, 1.2″ 4-Digit 7-Segment Display, wireless speaker and a push button switch.


Nick followed the steps to enable Alexa Voice Service (AVS) for his Raspberry Pi 3 using this tutorial. To make the project more exciting he used IFTTT service so he can make any conditional action using Alexa’s voice orders with IFTTT.


To see the full instructions and details of getting all hardware to work with Raspberry, please go to the project page on hackster.io.

Nick demonstrates the project in the video below:

Tiny Message Board


by tareker @ instructables.com:

We will make a tiny connected message board with a 0.96″ OLED display that can be controlled from your phone. We will use the IFTTT “DO” app to set and clear the reminder so that no extra hardware will be required besides the OLED display. In addition to the reminder, our tiny message board can display 3 other lines, which we will use to display the daily weather temperature forecast and a surf report, which will be pushed via a couple of IFTTT recipes.

Tiny Message Board – [Link]