Beyond the Blink: Add Drupal to Your IoT Playground

Amber Himes Matz

What does making a light blink have to do with Drupal? Come to this session to find out how you can add Drupal to your Internet of Things data playground. (THERE WILL BE BLINKING LIGHTS.)

Meet Will. He’s a developer on an e-commerce Drupal-powered website. He’s responsible for the weekly build. His arch nemesis is the test suite that fails…often. He’s got Jenkins running the build on the server, and in his office, a RaspberryPi and a tower light that resembles a traffic signal. While the test suite is running, the yellow light shines, when the build passes, the green light illuminates, and if the build fails, the red light blinks, a buzzer goes off, and a YouTube video with Taylor Swift singing “Shake It Off” opens in a new tab.

Meet Amber. She’s got a personal site running Drupal 8. She likes to make wearable electronics, tinker with Arduino-compatible microcontrollers and play with data. She’s made a wearable GPS-enabled, Internet-connected, barometric pressure sensing armband that displays an icon representing the weather forecast of her current location on a LED matrix. The armband, tethered to her iPhone and using its data plan, sends bits of data to a ThingSpeak channel (an API for the Internet of Things), which reacts and sends data over HTTP to her Drupal 8 site. The Drupal 8 site, upon receiving the authenticated POST data, creates new nodes, updates a map and table built with Views, and changes a block on her sidebar to display a matching icon of the weather in her current location.

This session will be a show-and-tell of these two potential situations brought to reality. You’ll walk away with:

  • Newfound enthusiasm to play with data, electronics, and the Internet of Things
  • Ideas for making IoT devices that interact with a Drupal site
  • Knowledge of how to set up a channel in ThingSpeak that collects, analyzes, and reacts to data
  • Knowledge to set up a ThingHTTP “React” app in ThingSpeak that sends data to a Drupal web site
  • A high-level overview of configuring Web services modules in Drupal 8 to accept POST requests and create new entities
  • An high-level overview of configuring a View to display location-based data

This session is for:

  • IoT enthusiasts, tinkerers, and makers
  • Curious folks who want to see new shiny ideas (AND BLINKING LIGHTS)
  • Drupal site developers and builders who want to learn about the possibilities of interacting with data from an API on a Drupal site

Session Track


Experience Level


Drupal Version

When & Where

Thursday, 12 May, 2016 - 10:45 to 11:45
267-268 [Blackmesh]