Building smart garden ornaments with a Raspberry Pi and micro:bits

Jim Bennett | Jul 11, 2020

Ever wanted to track things happening in your garden, neighborhood or school using smart garden ornaments? Now you can using BBC micro:bits and a cloud-based IoT service.

TL;DR: check out this project on GitHub for a weeks worth of fun to do with families, friends or in the classroom using a Raspberry Pi, microbits and an IoT service.

At Microsoft, we are celebrating July as our IoT month - after all who wouldn’t want to make use of the pun JulyOT! As part of this month, I created a fun project for schools, families and makers.

This is a fun week long project for those who want to take their first steps into the world of the Internet of Things (IoT) using devices that are popular with kids, and tools that make programming accessible to young developers. You’ll use a Raspberry Pi along with some BBC micro:bits and any garden ornaments you have to hand to build a smart neighborhood, gathering data such as temperature and noise levels and displaying it in the cloud using Azure IoT Central.

The IoT Central project dashboard

This is great for families, groups of friends, or even in the classroom - gathering data around your home, neighborhood or school.

Check out the project on GitHub! It’s broken down into 5 days of activities, from setting up the cloud service, to gathering data from micro:bits, to creating a mesh network to extend the range, to adding more sensors.

I’d love you to contribute to this project! Please send in your stories of what you have set up, any additional ideas for ways to extend the project, or any other sensors you’ve set up!

Happy making!