Saturday 3 p.m.–3:50 p.m.

Paho Silver, Away! Saddle up to IoT with MicroPython

Greg Svoboda

Audience level:


The IoT market is set to grow to over 250 BILLION dollars by 2020- it’s time to get YOUR piece. This session will give attendees an interactive demonstration on the amazing Python IoT-stack using Mosquitto, MicroPython, and the Paho Library. You will walk away with a solid understanding of the architecture and frameworks necessary to build a complete IoT solution of your own.


1) Fall In Love With IoT

Attendees will be drawn in with a live demonstration with animated led lights that change dramatically based on different input provided by the audience. Together, we'll imagine what kind of creative and exiting opportunities are now available!

A: How I got hooked:

Originally wanting to roll my own home security system, I installed many different home automation products. I eventually wanted to accomplish tasks that weren’t provided in out-of-the-box home automation solutions. I stumbled across the Incredible ESP8266 SOC (System On a Chip). For less than $5, I could program my own devices. I originally programmed these chips in C, but after discovering the MicroPython project, programming microprocessors became incredibly easier.

B: Why you should get hooked:

If you’re an entrepreneur, prototyping products and ideas is incredibly fast and easy with MicroPython, and the MQTT framework allows many devices to be communicated with easily and efficiently. If you’re an educator, MicroPython on the ESP8266 will provide you the ability to give your students powerful, interactive devices that cost only a couple dollars. If you’re just trying to grow your knowledge base, Micropython is a fun way to grow your skills, challenging you to write efficient, evolutionary, and maintainable code. You can’t be sloppy when writing for a device who’s available heap size is about 40kb.

2) How To Architect Your Own Python-Based IoT Solution

A: How do they talk? Intro to the messaging protocol, MQTT

Invented by IBM, MQTT is an extremely efficient messaging protocol that functions on top of the TCP/IP protocol, and made an OASIS standard in 2013. Attendees will be show in an interactive presentation on how a pub/sub protocol functions, and how messages are received and sent between the Clients and Brokers.

B: Who do they talk to? Intro to Brokers: MOSQUITTO

Having already learned the overview of MQTT-based IoT system architecture, attendees will be given a short demonstration of running a mqtt broker on the $5 raspberry pi zero, that can handle thousands of requests per second.

C: Who’s doing the talking? Intro to Clients: RASPBERRY PI (Paho Library)

Attendees will see an interactive demonstration of the Python Paho library, running on a Raspberry Pi, that will subscribe, view, and interact with messages published to the “topics” that the Raspberry Pi is subscribed to.

D: Getting Small Things To Talk: Intro to Clients: ESP8266 (MicroPython)

Attendees will gain an understanding of the overview of the MicroPython project, and will interact with the esp8266 chip, running micropython. They will learn how to connect their device what with the Mosquitto broker, and will soon be both publishing and subscribing to mqtt ‘topics’ in only a few lines of code!