Amazon IoT

(and how to make an internet-connected kitty motion detector)


  • Co-organizer of this meetup
  • Works for Emerging Technology Advisors
  • Robot enthusiast
  • Open-source "pusher"
  • Local celebrity

What is Amazon IoT?

It's a managed cloud platform that lets connected devices easily and securely interact with cloud applications and other devices.
- Amazon


  • It can support billions of devices
  • It can support trillions of messages
  • It's inexpensive
  • It's reliable
  • It's secure.
  • It's fast.
  • It's [freaking] Amazon.

How does it work?

  • Two major components are the Device Gateway (dashboard) and the Rules Engine.
  • Devices are added to the gateway as "things"
  • IoT provides a pub/sub system for hardware via the message broker.
  • The Rules Engine routes device messages to actions.

And for the visual learners...

How are messages sent to IoT?

  • IoT supports publish and subscribe via MQTT protocol and publish via HTTPS.
  • For browser-only applications, MQTT messages can be sent and received via web-sockets.
  • Amazon IoTs has SDKs to make message brokering really simple. 

Can I connect *any* hardware?

  • Nope.
    • It has to be able to support TLS 1.2 for MQTT or SSL certificates for the REST API.
  • Yeah, sorta.
    • You can tether the hardware to a computer or Raspberry Pi. Or the device can just be a computer running the SDK.
    • There are some proxy hacks for outlying hardware.    

One Last Thing [Shadow]...

  • Devices can have virtual "shadows" (thing/device shadows)
  • Shadows can:
    • Show current online/offline state
    • Persist and show last saved state values
    • Persist any future desired device state 
  • When a device comes online, IoT will ask the device to match its desired state.

Amazon Iot Test Project:

A motion detector that texts (via lambda) and emails (via SNS) when something [kitty] is detected.

Kitty Detector Parts List

  • Tessel 2 (Coming soon, rPi)
  • PIR Sensor
  • External Battery Holder + Batteries
  • Lead Wires
  • 3-D printed case (optional)
  • 1 moving kitty (optional)

The Code

  • Tessel Hardware/Amazon IoT Code:
  • Serverless Framework/Lambdas:

Demo Time!

Amazon IoT (How to Make a Kitty Detector) - Abridged Version

By Linda Nichols

Amazon IoT (How to Make a Kitty Detector) - Abridged Version

Amazon IoT Lightning Talk. Presented at Norfolk.js October 17 2016.

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