Node-RED MCU Edition & node-red-mcu-plugin: FOSDEM 2023 update

This Saturday morning, 9:30am, FOSDEM 2023 opens its doors at Brussels ULB calling thousands of developers of free and open source software from all over the world [...] to meet, share ideas and collaborate ... and @phoddie & I feel ultimately honoured to represent there the Node-RED community, showcasing what's possible in the combination of Node-RED & Javascript on Microcontrollers - the Node-RED MCU Edition & its platform integrator, the node-red-mcu-plugin.

I can tell you: The last days have been very busy for us in our efforts to create a package intended to blow you off your feets! :wink:

So what can you expect:

There's the new MCU sensor node - or should I better say a sensor node suite? It looks like just a single node, but it gives access to the plentitude of sensor drivers already supported for a long time by the XS Javascript framework. Peter and his team created some great demo items & some nice little stands to present the power of this node (or these nodes?) in action here in Brussels.

Then there's good news for those of you who commented on our lengthy build times: We've implemented Mod Support into Node-RED MCU Edition. In essence, this means that - after you prepared your MCU device once - you just upload the flows you're working on within a few seconds. That drastically reduces the number of coffee breaks you have to bear - and significantly speeds up your development experience. There's a small but: Not all hosts support mods...

And this is not the only new feature in the latest update of the node-red-mcu-plugin ... give a warm welcome to Local Flashing: I've eliminated the need to plug the MCU into your server running Node-RED to upload an updated flow! Given you respect some few constraints, in future you'll be able to flash your MCU device at your laptop when sitting on a couch, or at the place where you've installed the MCU into your Home Automation System ... while your Node-RED server - most likely a Pi - stays in his neatly arranged cabinet.

Now this created another challenge: Those of you who already tried to build a flow with Node-RED MCU Edition on a Pi (or a device of similar computation power) surely made this experience: Even a Pi4 needs some minutes to make what's necessary to create a full MCU build. Now, rather than welcoming back your lengthy coffee breaks, head over to microflows.RED & register for an early bird preview of our new Flow Building Service. It's currently at POC state, available for demonstration at FOSDEM 2023 to interested people: The flow package for the MCU is sent to the build server at microflows, build there within a few seconds, sent back to you & then uploaded to your MCU. Your task is to press one button; the rest is managed by the node-red-mcu-plugin. And - by the way - this may as well eliminate the demand to install & constantly keep updated the many SDKs necessary to support the different MCUs on your local development system.

Mod Support & Local Flashing are currently flagged as experimental features and already available in the GitHub repository of the node-red-mcu-plugin. To get access to them, add a special flag to your settings.js:

process.env.MCU_EXPERIMENTAL = 3

module.exports = {

microflows, the Flow Building Service, is open for registration; among those who are interested, I'll address some to support the final stages of integration activities.

That's it!

FOSDEM 2023 is going to start in a few hours! It would be great to see some of you there during the next two days! If you attend, make sure to stop by our stand @ Building AW, Level 1. We're looking forward to have some great talks, to get a lot of inspiration for the next steps of our journey ... and to really have fun!