Laying the foundation to the Internet of Things: Getting data out of your Arduino

by Eric Benoit

Many of us here at Invo have been using the Arduino quite a bit. From making claws for costumes to retail environment behavior to coffee electronics – it is incredible what you can do with these microcontrollers. However, there still is not a straightforward way of getting data out of your Arduino, onto the internet and accessible via a web app.

The personal project I've been working on has been tracking physical activity not covered by pedometers (vague, I know) and then having a web app to display that historical data. Coming from a design background with a light technical bend (some C++ and ActionScript) I am in familiar territory... but its been a while.

The one thing I've struggled with is getting data off the Arduino and stored in the cloud in order to be accessed later. The tutorials I've tried to follow assume experience in the topic and leave out crucial steps. Attempt after attempt I kept hitting roadblocks. There wasn't any documentation that provided a truly clear and complete picture of how to send and retrieve my data.

With some help I started to piece it together. I'm now at the point where I can get full circle with the data.

  • Wirelessly connect the Arduino to the internet
  • POST Arduino sensor data
  • Persist that data into a MySQL database
  • Retrieve and display that data in the browser

So I figured I would create a github repo that demonstrates all the touch-points and steps to get there. Now someone with limited technical skills can quickly get up-and-running.

Here is the github repository:

With this repo you should be able to get your Arduino to quickly quantify anything and store that data for later viewing, all the while being wireless and not tethered to a computer.

Next Step:
Integrating D3 to visualize the data.

If you have any thoughts on making this better, let me know in the comments or on github.

Topics: Design, code, data, GitHub, arduino, sensors, connected environments, quantified self, IoT, php, mysql, Blog, repository, wireless, internet of things, the quantified self