By Xiang-Yang Lu
Connecting ESP8266 & ESP32 to Arduino Cloud
To support Maker’s various IoT developments, Arduino launched the Arduino Cloud service as early as in 2016. This service used to be seen as equal to Arduino development board. Makers who do not subscribe to such a service would have to find other websites with similar services for data upload and viewing.
In September 2022, Arduino made a major change, announcing that Arduino Cloud now supports development boards of ESP8266 and ESP32, where the ESP32 series include ESP32-S2, ESP32-S3, and ESP32-C3.
More precisely, Arduino Cloud is a collective term for the cloud service, which consists of several sub-items such as IoT Cloud, Web Editor, and Manager for Linux. IoT Cloud supports data storage and dashboard viewing for IoT applications; Web Editor can be seen as a cloud version of the Arduino IDE.
As for Manager for Linux, it is obviously a management tool. However, the hardware resources compatible to ESP8266 and ESP32 are too few to run Linux, so the two series are mainly used with IoT Cloud and Web Editor. Manager for Linux, on the other hand, is mainly for the management of IoT gateways, and it is not exclusive to hardware by Arduino. It is compatible to other devices including Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone, or products by Taiwan-based companies such as AAEON and IEI Integration Corp. The same is also true to any platforms built using the architecture by Intel or ARM.
Arduino Cloud services available without buying development boards
Following the big announcement in September, there was another one in October, that is, Makers no longer need to buy a development board to be eligible for the Arduino Cloud service, whether the boards are produced by Arduino or not. All it takes is to install an application on your smartphone, which turns your phone into an IoT device that transmits the data collected onto the Arduino Cloud for storage and viewing, just as in using the IoT Cloud.
The application is called Arduino IoT Cloud Remote, which comes in both the Android and iOS version. After installation, the various sensors that come with the phone will become sensors for the IoT system; data collected will be transmitted to the Arduino Cloud/IoT Cloud through the Internet from your mobile phone.
You may wonder why Arduino decides now to allow connections to the Arduino Cloud via various hardware such as chips, devices, and mobile phones. The answer is that hopefully, Makers can get used to their services and subscribe to more of the Arduino Cloud services with charge.
Arduino Cloud is charged based on the number of “Things” that are connected through their service. The details for the charges under different packages are listed in Picture 5. There are also packages for businesses and schools. For businesses, the charge starts at $250 per month, while for school, the charge is based on the number of members registered. The rate is around $20 per member per year for 5 to 50 members, $18 for 51 to 100 members, and $15 for over 101 members.