Cooking Hacks Blog

  • We launch Open Aquarium! - Fish tank Monitoring and Aquaponics platform for ArduinoOctober 14, 2014

    We are very excited this week: we are pleased to present you Open Aquarium, our new sensor platform that automate control and maintenance tasks in aquariums through wireless connectivity and yes, it comes with an open source API.

    This new Makers solution is based on Arduino, and includes specialized sensors to measure vital parameters to aquatic life. Open Aquarium has been designed to help you to take care of your fish by automating the control and maintenance tasks that take place in fish tanks, ponds and aquaponic installations.

    Open Aquarium Project -  Aquariums Monitoring for Arduino

    Open Aquarium allows to remotely control your aquarium and include sensors to monitor factors in water such as temperature, pH, conductivity; it measures water levels and leakage, and deploys actuators that can feed the fish, regulate water heating / cooling, activate pumps to change water or administer medicine, and control light intensity to simulate day and night cycles. The sensors send information using wireless interfaces such as Wi-Fi, GPRS and 3G, for a perfect solution to monitor complex Aquaponic installations.

    Open Aquarium comes with a complete open source API and a web application that allows collected information to be stored in a database and visualized from a browser or from iPhone or Android smartphone devices.

    Designed specifically for Makers, our aim is to design connected technology using open source code to help makers discover, improve, and scale new sensor-based solutions for the Internet of Things.

    The Kits

    Open Aquarium consists of two different and complementary kits:

    and many several extra accessories.

    You can check all Open Aquarium kits and accesories here.

    Documentation and support

    You can check our complete tutorial here: Open Aquarium - Aquaponics and Fish Tank Monitoring for Arduino – Step by Step Guide. Remember you can also check our forum where you can get support for Open Aquarium.

    And do not forget to check also the Open Garden Platform!

    Open Garden allows you to remotely control your indoor, outdoor and hydroponics plants starting at just 199€. Check the complete tutorial here.

  • Some photos from Maker Faire Roma 2014October 10, 2014

    After some intense days setting up our new office - surely you have been scouting our Instagram Channel - and after putting together all the photos we took last weekend in Italy, we are happy to share with you some pics and comments about Maker Faire Rome 2014.

    Rome is awesome at fall

    But of course, we were incredibly busy these days. We were in the Innovation Week - - it lasted several days, prior Maker Faire Rome 2014, and in the Maker Faire weekend itself.

    After travelling to NY, it was a piece of cake to take a plane and fly to Rome - it's just three hours from Spain.

    David and Luis in MakerFaire Rome 2014
    The Guys

    Our team mate David arrived there on Monday 29th, and spent an entire week in Rome, enjoying incredible talks and meetings in the "Open Hardware Summit" and the "Social Innovation Cities" events. You recognized Becky Stern in our Instagram Channel for sure!

    Luis arrived on Friday, ready for the challenging weekend.

    Don't miss their twitter accounts! You can follow them in @D0omY and @LuisMartinNuez!

    And the photos

    In Maker Faire Rome we found lots of 3D printers and special spaces for robotics. As is increasingly the custom, children occupied a prominent place, and several booths had special activities for the youngest.

    We enjoyed three amazing days and received tens of visits in our booth. We tried to satisfy the curiosity of our visitors with some small demos of our projects.

    Cooking Hacks in MakerFaire Rome 2014
    Cooking Hacks in MakerFaire Rome 2014
    Cooking Hacks in MakerFaire Rome 2014
    Cooking Hacks in MakerFaire Rome 2014
    Cooking Hacks in MakerFaire Rome 2014
    Cooking Hacks in MakerFaire Rome 2014
    Cooking Hacks in MakerFaire Rome 2014
    Cooking Hacks in MakerFaire Rome 2014
    Cooking Hacks in MakerFaire Rome 2014
    Cooking Hacks in MakerFaire Rome 2014
    Cooking Hacks in MakerFaire Rome 2014
    Cooking Hacks in MakerFaire Rome 2014

    Thank you all guys! See you next year in Rome!

  • We have redefined the Open Garden kits. Now at 199€!October 6, 2014

    Five months after the launch of Open Garden and thanks to the Community feedback, we have decided to redefine the kits in terms of complexity and price. We are very excited about the direction is taking the project and we want to explain you why.

    Open Garden New Prices

    The Open Garden Platform in a brief

    As you surely remember Open Garden is an open source hardware alternative to commercial home automation to remotely control your indoor, outdoor and hydroponic plants. The platform allows to monitor the state of the plants by sensing several parameters such as Temperature, Humidity, Light, Soil moisture and Water sensors (pH, Conductivity, Temperature). At the same time it is possible also to use different types of actuators to modify the state of the plants - for example, irrigating them or activating lights and oxygen pumps. Examples of the actuators are: Water pump + Droppers for Drip Irrigation, Electro valve + Sprinkler for Sprinkling, or Oxygen Pump + Growing Light.

    The nodes send periodically the information to the Gateway that uploads the data to a web server by using any of the available wireless interfaces (WiFi, GPRS, 3G).

    We prepared three different kits, each ready for a specific kind of growing plant scenario: Indoor (houses and greenhouses), Outdoor (gardens and fields) and Hydroponics (plants in water installations). This part hasn't changed: we still think the three kits are useful and answer your current needs. Actually, we have revised the elements that make up every Kit.

    So, what's new?

    Listening to the rising Open Garden community - we receive regular emails of the users providing feedback, and we answer their questions in our forum (many thanks to all of you folks) -, we have decided to focus in utility and simplicity and at a lower cost per kit than the initial ones. We realized that sometimes less is more!

    That's the reason why we have chosen just the most demanded accessories and prepare three new Kits including them. That's why now, for example, the Open Garden Indoor Kit "just" includes the following accessories: LDR - Light sensor, DHT22 - Temperature + Humidity sensor, Soil moisture sensor, Water Pump and Real Time Clock (RTC) - DS1307 + Water Proof IP67 Enclosure. And that's why we have also revised the accessories included in Outdoor and Hydroponics Kits. All of them at 199€ each!

    We are very happy to share this new vision with all of you, and we strongly believe that with this change the Open Garden community will grow faster.

    Of course, rest of previously included accessories in the kits are still available, and can be purchased individually. Access to the complete list of kits and accessories of Open Garden here.

    Documentation and support

    You can check our Open Garden - Hydroponics & Garden Plants Monitoring step-by-step tutorial. Remember you can also check our forum where you can get support for Open Garden.

    The Kits

    You can purchase the kits here:

    Indoor Kit
    Outdoor Kit
    Hydroponics Kit

  • We are movingOctober 2, 2014

    Do you remember the fire? :(

    As you surely remember, the night of the 3th April a fire burned one of our warehouses in Zaragoza (Spain), where we stored some of the products of Cooking Hacks. Part of our products have been temporarily stored in a smaller wharehouse, and we have been in an awkward position for the last six months.

    We are happy to announce...

    We are happy to announce that we are moving tomorrow to our new facilities. We have been working hard for the last months preparing our new headquarters. And to kill two birds with one stone, moving to a bigger building will allow us to improve our logistic activities but also our general day-to-day office work.

    Check the map below to get more details about our new facilities.

    The move

    And these days we are packing all our computers, screens, servers, testing material, 3D printers, general office equipment, chairs, tables and rest of the furniture. And well, you know... we are very excited about the change, but it's also a total madness... ;)

    You can find below some pics that will give you a good idea about what we are talking about.

    We are moving
    We are moving
    We are moving
    We are moving

    We will continue posting more photos in our Instagram Channel. Be sure to follow us there and stay tuned!

  • More Photos from World Maker Faire New YorkSeptember 26, 2014

    After a couple of days, and after put our thoughts in perspective, here we go again with more pics and comments about Maker Faire New York 2014.

    New York City, the Trip and the Friday

    First of all, simply to mention just a word or two about the difficulties to travel to the other side of the world with 40/50 Kg of Maker's material. Although Spain is a well-connected country, travel to NY from Zaragoza takes near 12 hours of continuous taxi-station-train-station-taxi-airport-plane-airport-taxi... you know... Imagine you must carry with you for all this time your luggage and a suitcase big as a man...

    But the effort is worth it! We arrived NY on Friday morning (local time) and we were willing to spend a Great Maker Weekend.

    We first stopped in the fair, to take a look to the general disposition of the booths and space available for our stuff. We spent some hours there preparing our projects and hacks, checking everything were working properly after the trip, and preparing the merchandising material.

    After that, we had some time to have a proper dinner in Manhattan, assuming that the next two days we were going to have less time...

    The Weekend

    Maker Faire New York was really well sorted this year, and there were big areas reserved for electronics, children, 3D Printing... and Disney. This year Disney had an important role and prepared special activities for the youngest.

    We enjoyed two incredible days and received dozens of visits in our booth. We tried to satisfy the curiosity of all the people interested in our hacks in particular, or the Maker Culture in general. As you surely remember, we prepared small demos of projects like:

    • e-Health Sensor platform: our mini hospital (you can monitor your body with up to ten sensors)
    • Radiation Shields: measure radioactivity levels .
    • Mind-controlled Beer Machine: just concentrate, and the beer appears!

    A big hug for our friends of Adafruit, Texas Instruments, Linino, DF Robot... and many many others we have the opportunity to meet last weekend. We made a lot of new friends!

    Cooking Hacks in MakerFaire New York 2014
    Cooking Hacks in MakerFaire New York 2014
    Cooking Hacks in MakerFaire New York 2014
    Cooking Hacks in MakerFaire New York 2014
    Cooking Hacks in MakerFaire New York 2014
    Cooking Hacks in MakerFaire New York 2014
    Cooking Hacks in MakerFaire New York 2014
    Cooking Hacks in MakerFaire New York 2014

    See you soon... Next week Maker Faire Rome!

    More links talking about Maker Faire New York 2014!

  • First pics from NY - Amazing Weekend in World Maker Faire New York September 23, 2014

    New York City, here we go

    Our long weekend started early in the mornig in Spain on Thursday 18 Sept. As usual, we travelled by train from Zaragoza to Madrid in order to pick a plane to NY. After more than 8 hours flying and several more waiting in airports and stations, we arrived there. We spent the entire Friday preparing the booth, and ensuring all our projects and hacks were working properly, and preparing all the merchandising and promotional material.

    Here, some NY pics. Not all of them were taken at arrival... some on Thursday, some on Friday...

    Cooking Hacks in New York
    Cooking Hacks in New York
    Cooking Hacks in New York

    The Booth

    The show started on Saturday, and a lot of people came to our stand... In our stand they enjoyed small demos of our hacks like:

    • Nacho, our e-Health patient: the visitors can test all the sensors included in our e-Health Sensor platform.
    • Radiation Shields: Using the test beads, visitors can measure the radioactivity levels - the values are displayed in the screen.
    • Mind-controlled Beer Machine: It is very popular also. Just concentrate, and the beer appears.

    Two quick photos of the booth, one with an special visitor (do you recognize her?), and one of our kind neighbours... ;)

    Cooking Hacks Booth in MakerFaire NewYork
    Cooking Hacks Booth in MakerFaire NewYork
    Cooking Hacks Booth in MakerFaire NewYork
    Cooking Hacks Booth in MakerFaire NewYork

    Maker Faire New York

    And finally, some general photos of Maker Faire New York.

    Cooking Hacks in Maker Faire New York
    Cooking Hacks in Maker Faire New York
    Cooking Hacks in Maker Faire New York

    We will post more photos and comments in a couple of days! We have seen a lot of things this weekend and it's not possible to include all our experiences in just one post!!

  • Lenny has already grabbed his ticket for World Maker Faire New YorkSeptember 17, 2014

    Call for Makers!

    And the winners are...
    These are the first five emails we received asking for the tickets in our marketing account. Enjoy!


    Hello there, as we announced a couple of days ago in this blog we will be at World Maker Faire New York 2014, September 20-21.

    As official sponsor of Maker Faire New York 2014 we have some free one-day passes for Cooking-Hacks most loyal followers.

    A few days ago, Lenny Roudik from New York (@lennyroudik), took a step forward and asked us directly for a ticket for the Show. Lenny is an Android Developer, Google Fanboy and general Geek, as you can read in his twitter bio.

    Well, today we have sent Lenny his free one-day ticket in order he can come to visit us this weekend. We will be very happy to meet Lenny there and show him some of our new projects and hacks. :)

    Actually, we have 5 more free one-day tickets for our followers, and all you have to do to win one is

    • retweet one of our tweets announcing we will be in Maker Faire New York and
    • send us a quick email with your name to (end of promo) (-at-) libelium (-dot-) com.

    The first 5 emails will get the tickets (one ticket per person): we will announce the winners in this post.

    * Please, note that the event is in New York, so if you are not sure that you can go to NY this weekend, let other people to enjoy this opportunity.

    Quick reminder: Our booth will be located in the Electronics Tent, in a large tent outdoors. Our booth number is EP42.

    Maker Faire New York 2014

  • Testing our Raspberry Pi to Arduino Shields Connection Bridge with the new Raspberry Model B+September 9, 2014

    Raspberry Pi to Arduino Shields Connection Bridge is compatible with Raspberry Pi 2 Model B
    We have been testing our Raspberry Pi to Arduino shields connection bridge with the new Raspberry Pi 2 Model B to ensure its full compatibility. Check the specific article here.

    As you surely know Raspberry released his Model B+ board last July. We have been testing it with our Raspberry Pi to Arduino Shields Connection Bridge during last week, to ensure its full compatibility.

    Just in case you didn't know this product, the idea behind our bridge is to allow to use different shields, boards and modules designed for Arduino in Raspberry Pi. It allows also to connect digital and analog sensors, using the same pinout of Arduino but with the power and capabilities of Raspberry.

    RaspBerry Pi B+

    We created also the arduPi library which allows to use Raspberry with the same code used in Arduino. In this library you can find conversion functions to control all the I/O interfaces in the same way as in Arduino.

    As we can see in Raspberry official website (check the link, the upper block is exactly the same as in model A/B. You may remember some changes were made in this part in the past. We are working with revision 2, as we guess the vast majority of you. Accordingly, the main change is Raspberry B+ includes more GPIO (14 pins more). See picture below.

    Raspberry Pi GPIO Pinouts

    As the former pins remains unchanged, and the GPIOs are the same, our shield connects with the board with no problems. At the end, we are very happy with the testings we have made. We have tested many of the eHealth sensors (the patient Position Sensor - Accelerometer, and the body Temperature Sensor, for example, and we do not foresee any problem for this side) and also with interruptions.

    More changes we love: the new Micro SD (the old card socket broke easy and frequently), the video onto the 3.5mm jack (one jack for audio and video), the lower power consumption and the extra USB ports.

    You can still install Raspbian - it is the default operating system, and we usually choose it. Model B+ is recommended for use in schools: it has more flexibility for learners and more USB ports than any other model.

    Our Raspberry Pi to Arduino Shields Connection Bridge works perfect with the new board (you can get the new Raspberry Model B+ board here).

    Why don't you give the Connection Bridge a try?

  • Cooking Hacks at Maker Faire Rome 3-5 OctoberSeptember 8, 2014

    Call for Makers!

    Rome is awesome at fall. So why not join us there this October? As we announced a few weeks ago in this blog - check our Maker Faire Schedule - we will be at Maker Faire Rome, October 3-5. We will be happy to see you there and show all of you some of our projects and hacks.

    At Maker Faire Rome, we will give demonstrations of the e-Health Sensor Platform and our new project Open Garden.

    The e-Health Sensor Platform allows Arduino and Raspberry Pi users to perform biometric and medical applications where body monitoring is needed. You can check this video explaining the platform and the different sensors you can use to monitor in real time the state of a patient. This video is an oldie, but a goodie.

    Open Garden provides an entire monitor enviroment to launch three different specific kind of growing plant scenarios: Outdoor, Indoor and Hydroponics. Open Garden can sense different ground parameters as for example, among others, Soil moisture, Temperature, Humidity or Light, or even water conditions like pH, Conductivity or Temperature. You can check the documentation of the project here, and some real photos in last Open Garden Flickr Set.

    Maker Faire Rome is one of the european reference meeting points for the Maker community. Maker Faire Rome 2014 is held at Auditorium Parco della Musica, Viale Pietro de Coubertin, 10 – Roma on 3-5 October. More info here.

    So grab this opportunity and come meet us there! See you at World Maker Faire Rome 2014!

    Extra Ball: Innovation Week Rome will be held from 28th September to 5th October, including interesting events and conferences like Personal Democracy Forum, Open Hardware Summit, Meet Iot, Social Innovation Cities, Smartmoney, "Boosting" A Creative Start-Up Ecosystem or Sep Matching Event. Check the full Schedule here.

  • More Open Garden real project photosAugust 21, 2014

    We are very happy to show you more pics of our Open Garden projects. As you may know, Open Garden is an Open Source hardware alternative to commercial home automation to remotely control your indoor, outdoor and hydroponic plants. We strongly believe it has huge potential due to its flexibility: its made of many separate sensors and actuators - it's a very modular and flexible environment.

    As you surely remember, you can find three different Open Garden kits: indoor, outdoor and hydroponics. These kits will help you to use the solution in greenhouses or houses, external gardens or fields, or even plants in water installations, respectively.

    In the photos you can see a three node Open Garden indoor installation:

    1.- One street monitoring node - no pics, it's allocated in the balcony - which monitors temperature, humidity and external light.

    2.- A second node controlling the soil moisture of a big plant in the dining room. If you look closely at the pictures, you could appreciate the sensor: is the black wire in the left side of the Gateway, it gets into the ground on the left of the plant.

    More Open Garden Pics in Flickr
    More Open Garden Pics in Flickr

    3.- A third node is also controlling the soil moisture of a third space, composed by a tomatoe plant, a mint plant and a basil one. This third node is also monitoring air temperature and humidity and ground temperature. You can notice the gateway by his side - it's connected to the water pump for drip irrigation. You can see the droppers in the last of the photos.

    More Open Garden Pics in Flickr
    More Open Garden Pics in Flickr

    Open Garden Droppers

    In this case, we are not using the Open Garden and XBee shields, or the Wifi module.

    Bonus tip: the gateway is connected to a RaspBerry Pi (USB Connection). We are stablishing an UART communication to save all the data in a database.

    We hope you have enjoyed the photos, and we encourage you to develop your own Open Garden projects following our step-by-step tutorial. We will be very happy to receive your project photos, and to share them in Twitter or Instagram, or RT your posts around Open Garden.

    You can also purchase the kits here:

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