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Basebits - put your things on a smart pedestal #shapebits

by albertputnam

Published on April 9, 2015

Basebits - #shapebits - put your things on a smart pedestal - for Smarter Than Your Home Design Challenge

Internet of Things (like with littlebits cloudbit). Shapeways 3D printing. Something ubiquitous at home.

Thoughts were about toys. Or more directly the kind of activities kids do at home. Got to thinking about the age old project of growing a bean plant. That led to flower pots and vases. Usually one puts a water tray under the grow container. How about making that "pedestal" a smart connected thing with a cloudbit in it? And just maybe it can be more flexible than that...

Low height pedestal with shallow depression in top. Clear and white plastics. Clear for esthetics and peek through for some sensors. Primary sensors motion, light, water (humidity). Pedestal has place in bottom to snugly mount place a cloudbit and the required sensors. Put in a color LED bit for some feedback. Track the progress of growing online. Send reminders for watering. Integrate other features via IFTTT.

Get two used clean hummus or dip containers. Clear one for water tray on top. Translucent one for cloudbit and electronics on bottom. Tape the bits into the base. [Insert Photo - cloudbit + motionsensor + containers]

Shapeways used either for total realization or components to make whole. Or use available parts for tray and base and aggregate them using 3D printed parts. The 3D aspect is for esthetic and affordance of function. Cloudbit additions will be modular - any littlebit could be considered for integration into the overall Basebit "platform". The software is likewise modular. Features could be afforded via IFTTT. Power: USB adapter if on a window sill.

Same pedestal (slightly smaller) for kids items in the fridge. Will fit tightly under a round or rectangular leftover container. Then one can track temperature, light, motion. When is a leftover too old? When is my juice box cold enough after putting it in fridge? (send an alert). Power:  Rechargeable battery in fridge (maybe as an add on UPS base under the pedestal).

Generally the pedestal Basebit could be used for making anything a smart trackable thing. Just put something on it to see who might move your stuff. Or just see what is happening to or around your object of interest.

Credits: IFTTT - for cloud smarts and alerts Shapeways - for design esthetics and affordance

How To Make It


[For mockup - actual would have 3D printed parts with mounting for littlebits directly or littlebits mounts] Obtain materials and tools. Mostly get your littlebits and tray containers together.


Mount littlebits in base with tape. Can be upside down or right side up (and upper container will seat in). Get your power wire out to to a USB supply.


Test sensing things locally with RGB LED. Get MakeyMakey working as mositure sensor [See EarthDay 2015 project]. Then get data flowing to cloudbit cloud. Visualize manually for a day or two. Then start in with applications and connecting to things like IFTTT.

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