We are using Yammer a lot in my team in MCS and I have come to like it a whole lot. It makes communication with your colleagues and with people outside of your immediate team much faster, as the tone tends to be a little less formal – and therefore faster and easier to read and write. I have had an idea for a fun thing to do with Yammer for a while and yesterday night I finally had the time to put it together.
I have messed a bit around with Yammer’s API and, honestly, it’s really awesome! Authenticating with the API and making requests is really easy since it is all based on REST and OAuth 2. More than 200,000 companies – including 85% of the Fortune 500 – use Yammer and the amount of information that is getting into the social network is just enormous. Also, it’s becoming a more and more central place for knowledge sharing in companies. I wanted to tap into that and developing something that would work on top of this strong trend.
So let me present to you… The YamMoBile! The YamMoBile is a remote-controlled car that I bought on a second-hand web site for 50 Danish kroner (about 10 US dollars) here in Denmark. As a member of you the YamMoBile’s group on Yammer you are able to control it by sending messages that follow a specific format that the car can understand. I connected it to an Arduino (for managing electrical instructions), a .NET console app (that sends the actual instructions), a Windows Azure SQL Database (that keeps track of incoming manages), a service running on a Windows Azure virtual machine (that gets the latest messages in the YamMoBile’s Yammer group by querying Yammer’s API). The result is a 100% Yammer-controlled RC car that my colleagues in the YamMoBile can go crazy with!
I have uploaded a video where I explain how it works and where you can see the car driving around on my apartment floor. Check it out here:
I am going to take the car to a Maker’s Fair in Copenhagen on January 17, 2014. If you are in Copenhagen you should definitely come and check it out. You can read a lot more about it on the event page on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/events/234039540106876/
Well, that’s all from now. Have a great Sunday!