Where to Buy?
The vESPrino and other members of the vESPrino Family are sold in the shop
What is vESPrino?
- It is a platform based on the popular ESP8266 WiFi module for quickly prototyping IoT Apps
- Includes an RGB Led, Button and Serial port
- Has several expansion ports and multiple matching sensors that you can directly plug – no Jumper Wires needed!
- With the default open-source firmware you can quickly setup demo and productive scenarios using the sensors. You can also extend it or write your own
- Different matching enclosures available, that you can also print at home or extend
Who is it for?
- For Software Developers – gives you a jumpstart into IoT, by offering a gradual dive into the topic. Start with exploring the default firmware and write Software apps communicating with the Physical world. Then continue with embedded programming
- For Home Automation Freaks – quickly connecting the different sensors and letting them talk via HTTP or MQTT to your automation system gives you lots of fun and experimentation opportunities. With the provided enclosures – you can also create your own device
- For Makers – being a Maker myself, I use the bare vESPrino board as a basis for my projects. It can be easily put inside an enclosure, there is a Button, LED and Serial port, so i only need to connect the actual sensor i need and extend the firmware. The open-source firmware makes it easy to configure the device via a Chrome App
- For Gadget Lovers – In just couple of minutes you can have a WiFi enabled toy that reads Gestures, Displays data, Blinks, and many more.
Over the past year as part of other projects i’ve been doing, i’ve hacked a custom Firmware with the following features:
- Allows configuring an ESP8266 module over the Serial Port
- Setup WiFi Connetion
- Data upload over HTTP and MQTT
- Handy shortcuts to setup integration with popular Online Services like IFTTT, Dweet.io, Thingspeak, Ubidots. But also to some Private home automation systems
- Over-The-Air update service
There is also a nice Chrome-based App that can find a vESPrino connected to the serial port and configure it visually.
This is the default firmware that all devices will get, and that can be flashed later. In fact it is open-source so it can be flashed to any ESP8266-based board. Connecting a button to GPIO0, and WS2812B LED to GPIO2 will enable the vESPrino features also there
You can of course build your own apps by extending this firmware – so that you get the core features for free
While developing different hardware modules in the last years i realized that the perfect board (for me 🙂 ) has to have few core features. I couldn’t find them in any existing board (Sold at a reasonable price). So this is why i went the extra mile and created my dream board (I hope you’ll like it too 🙂 ). The most important features are:
- ESP8266 ESP-12 Module – FCC and CE Certified
- CH340G USB 2 Serial adapter
- 500 ma 3.3v LDO
- CH_PD and GPIO pins of the ESP wired to DTR and RST for auto-programing support
- Micro USB port and Male USB Plug – conveniently placed to allow easy mounting inside a device
- 4 GPIOs, 5v and 3.3v conveniently broken out
- GPIO 16 connected to RST for native Deep Sleep support
- Push Button connected to GPIO 0
- WS2812b RGB Led connected to GPIO 2
- Temperature Sensor connected to ADC
- Mounting holes
- Easy embeddable in a 3D Printed Enclosure
I believe final prototypes have to be put in an enclosure and enjoy their well deserved fame, helps a lot in increasing the WAF of DIY projects This is why I’ve spent countless nights, early mornings and weekends to design, print, test (, repeat) enclosures for my devices. Strangely enough, I still think this is fun even if this takes a lot of my spare time.
For everybody else that would like to have his quality time spent for other hobbies, i offer few things:
- A small vESPrino enclosure, useful when you connect the device directly to USB and use it without sensors or while testing out sensors
- A big vESPrino enclosure, useful to put the vESPrino inside, along with the sensor(s) you choose)
- Google Sketchup source of those enclosures, so that they can be used as templates
Playing with a bare vESPrino can be very entertaining, but as “appetite comes with eating”, i would like to use the opportunity to offer you some fine side dishes, to make your experience awesome.
Connecting sensors to an ESP8266 can be a daunting task. Some libraries work, some have glitches, some have limitations and for most sensors there are several libraries. To get you through this potentially frustrating experience i’ve done few things:
- The vESPrino firmware has native support for all supported sensors and actuators, so you can pay with them without a single line of code
- For those that want to code – there are example sketches for everything
- The sensors are either plugged in directly to the base, or via the adapter board. No Jumper wires!
Instead of connecting raw PCBs as sensors, i also introduced an addon family – “vESPrino Cookies”. Here is how they look like. In a further post i will give more details about them.