For my m8rScript project I really want to use Bonjour. It would give me a way of finding many ESP8266 devices on the network without having to nail down IP addresses. The concept is simple: you give your device a name, like yardweather. Then you type yardweather.local into your web browser and up pops the web page for your device. Additionally, you can broadcast a message on your network asking if any device supports a given service, and any device that does sends back information telling you about itself. So you can know how you are allowed to talk to it. Simple, right?
The Internet of Things is really taking off. The ESP8266 has made it possible to add a powerful process with wifi to any project for a couple of bucks. Whether you doing a one off art project, or are building a home automation gizmo that you plan on funding with Kickstarter, the ESP8266 can be at the core.
I’ve gotten really excited about this new chip and it’s potential, so naturally I decided to write my own scripting language. When you say that sort of thing in the circles I run around in or when you read it in ESP8266 forums, you generally get a lot of push back.
Here’s the situation. You installed this cool sprinkler controller. You used a DHCP reservation so it’s always at the same ip address. Now you can always access it – as long as you’re connected to your home network. What if you’re in Hawaii?
You’re sitting on the beach, sipping a nice drink from a coconut, and suddenly you realize that you just planted a new garden back home that really needs some extra watering. How do you control your sprinklers then?
What you need is the ability to remotely access your home network.
I recently installed an Open Sprinkler PI system in my house. This is a great system from Ray’s Hobby which has its own web server. You can access it from a web browser or with an iPhone app which talks to the same server. But you need to access the web server using an ip address, and the easiest way to set the system up is using DHCP, which assigns its own ip addresses. The only way to know what address the OSPI was given is to look at your router’s DHCP table, which is a giant hassle.
I’ve been planning on building an ethernet connected clock for some time now. It started as a project for my daughter, Mikayla. But my wife went out and bought both her and my other daughter Leah little LED alarm clocks for $10 at Walgreen’s which took away my ability to make her a $50 clock 🙂
Not to worry. We always need more clocks. So I repurposed Etherclock for the family room. We had a Squeezebox serving the purpose of a really accurate clock in that room. But I felt bad to be putting it to such a meager use and my friend Jon wanted a second one, so I sold it to him and started on Etherclock.