We may one day look back at 2016/2017 and realize this was the golden age of maker/DIY electronics. New maker boards and add-ons are being introduced at a ridiculous pace. A few of these boards will get a ton of traction. Others, not so much. What differentiates the successful boards from the ones that litter the electronic graveyard? Usefulness, usability, and affordability are the three best indicators of success for any product in the maker/DIY universe. Marketing dollars and hype won’t overcome deficiencies in any one of the before-mentioned attributes in this market. The maker community makes the final call on what is deemed awesome and what deserves to be ignored. If you can win over the maker community, you can succeed.
The GrovePi Zero by Dexter Industries is the latest Raspberry Pi add-on board to hit the market after a successful Kickstarter campaign. It claims to make electronics prototyping with the Pi both easy and fast. Let’s put this new board through its paces to see if it is worthy of your time and money. If we are going to do a fair review, we need to build an actual project using the GrovePi Zero from start to finish and grade it on each of the three key indicators mentioned above – usefulness, usability, and affordability. We will document each step so you can repeat exactly what we did at home.
In this thorough review, we will:
- install a GrovePi Zero and its software libraries on a Raspberry Pi Zero
- connect two sensors from the Grove universe, a DHT22 temperature/humidity sensor and an air quality sensor
- send data from those sensors to an IoT data platform, Initial State
- combine data from our sensors with Wunderground weather data to create a real-time, web-based environmental dashboard
- not be bashful about anything we find awesome or awful in this entire experience
This will be fun. Let’s get started.
This tutorial is part of the series, “Learning How to Build Real IoT Applications” >>