Building an IoT Project with Intel Galileo and Node.js

Gaston Hillar

October 21, 2014

Gaston HillarOctober 21, 2014

Intel XDK IoT Edition provides an IDE that enables you to use JavaScript with Node.js to build Internet of Things (IoT) projects that target specific Intel boards and interact with Arduino shields and modules. In this first article of a two-part series on IoT solutions with Node.js, I explain how to configure an Intel Galileo Gen 2 board to work with the IDE and write JavaScript code that interacts with the device hardware.

Up and Running with the Board
You don't need to be an electronics engineer to develop IoT prototypes with an Intel Galileo Gen 2 board and the Intel XDK IoT Edition IDE.  In fact, I'm going to use examples featuring JavaScript code and Node.js libraries that are easy to understand if you know any modern programming language.

However, you should know at least some basics about embedded hardware: electronic components, power sources, digital I/O, analog-to-digital converters, pulse-width modulation (PWM), Universal Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter (UART), breadboards, wiring, decoupling, input protection, sensors, and actuators.

Without this basic knowledge, you should follow step-by-step tutorials very carefully while working with the board in order to reduce the risk of damaging it. A wire connected to the wrong place can harm the hardware.

Any previous experience with embedded systems platforms will make your path towards IoT prototyping much more direct. In addition, in order to interact with more complex devices or shields, you should know how the Inter-Integrated Circuit (I2C) bus and Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI) bus work.

Some shields that you connect to the Galileo board require you to use either I2C or SPI buses to communicate with them, and the Node.js libraries provide only a high-level abstraction to send and receive messages through these buses.

If you don't meet these knowledge requirements, don't worry — you can still read along and follow my examples. However, you will need to learn about those electronics and hardware topics before you actually start work on more complex IoT prototypes.

To read more of this external content or Dr.Dobbs, go to "Getting started with the Intel Galileo board and the XDK IoT Edition IDE."

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