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Adding connectivity

Now that you've built the basic circuit and written the code to control that circuit, you can add connectivity to the project. Part of Arm's IoT Platform is Pelion Device Management, a unified solution to connect devices to the internet and communicate with them, regardless of how these devices connect to the internet. Libraries are available for a variety of connectivity methods, including Ethernet, Wi-Fi and cellular. You also can add new connectivity methods with the unified networking APIs in Mbed OS 5.

Obtaining a device certificate

Mbed TLS encrypts all data that goes from the device to Device Management (and from Device Management to the device). You need a security certificate to set up secure communication, which you can get from the Device Management Portal:

  1. Go to the Device Management Portal, and sign in.

  2. If prompted for your login credentials, use your Device Management credentials. These are different from your credentials for the Mbed Online Compiler.

  3. Select Device identity > Certificates.

  4. Click New certificate > Create a developer certificate.

  5. Enter a name for the certificate, and click Create certificate.

  6. Go to Device identity > Certificates again.

  7. Click on your new certificate.

  8. Click Download developer C file. Your certificate file downloads.

    The certificate is located in the white box

  9. Copy the file (named mbed_cloud_dev_credentials.c) into your application's source directory.

Adding connectivity to the board

Built-in connectivity

This example assumes that the network has DHCP enabled and the firewall does not block connections to

If you have a development board that connects over Ethernet, just plug in an Ethernet cable. If you have a board that connects over cellular or Wi-Fi, no actions are required.

Setting the Wi-Fi credentials

If you're using Wi-Fi, you'll need to set your Wi-Fi SSID and Password. Open mbed_app.json and locate the section that mentions nsapi.default-wifi:

/* mbed_app.json */

/* snip */

            "nsapi.default-wifi-security"       : "WPA_WPA2",
            "nsapi.default-wifi-ssid"           : "\"SSID\"",
            "nsapi.default-wifi-password"       : "\"Password\""

/* snip */

Update these to reflect your Wi-Fi network.

No built-in connectivity

If your board does not have built-in connectivity, or when you want to use a different connectivity module (such as an external Wi-Fi module) you need to:

  1. Add the driver for the module to your project.
  2. Replace the call to NetworkInterface::get_default_instance() with a call to the driver.

More information on the networking API, and a list of drivers are available in the IP Networking section of the Mbed OS documentation.

Adding libraries with Mbed CLI

For the device and Device Management to talk, you need the Device Management Client library. This is a cross-platform library that runs on Mbed OS and Linux and that you can port to other RTOSes. This example uses an additional library built on top of Device Management Client: SimpleM2MClient. We created this library specifically to use Mbed OS 5, so you can expose variables and resources to the cloud.

These libraries are already in the project (see the .lib files in the project directory).

Writing code

Setting up a connection

You need to add some code to the application, so it connects to the internet and sets up a connection to Device Management.

Replace connected-lights-cloud/source/main.cpp with:

#include "mbed.h"
#include "FATFileSystem.h"
#include "led.h"                                      // Abstracts away the differences between the LED types
#include "simple-mbed-cloud-client.h"

EventQueue eventQueue;                                // An event queue

// Pelion Device Management requires a filesystem, mount it based on parameters in mbed_app.json
BlockDevice *bd = BlockDevice::get_default_instance();
FATFileSystem fs("fs", bd);

SimpleMbedCloudClient *client;

// PIR sensor acts as an interrupt - signals us whenever it goes high (or low)
InterruptIn pir(PIR_PIN);   // This pin value comes out mbed_app.json

// Resource declarations, they're assigned a value in `main`.
MbedCloudClientResource *ledColor;
MbedCloudClientResource *ledStatus;
MbedCloudClientResource *ledTimeout;
MbedCloudClientResource *pirCount;

// Variable that holds whether the light is on because the PIR sensor triggered (and timeout didn't happen yet)
bool ledOnBecauseOfPir = false;

// Timeout based on led/0/timeout, disables the light after a set interval
Timeout pirTimeout;

// // Permanent statuses (set by led/0/permanent_status)
enum PermanentStatus {
    STATUS_NONE = 0,
    STATUS_ON   = 1,
    STATUS_OFF  = 2

// clear the lights
void putLightsOff() {
    setRgbColor(0.0f, 0.0f, 0.0f);

// As said above, color is encoded in three bytes
void putLightsOn() {
    int color = ledColor->get_value_int();

    // parse the individual channels
    int redCh   = color >> 16 & 0xff;
    int greenCh = color >> 8 & 0xff;
    int blueCh  = color & 0xff;

    // our color is 0..255, but we need a float between 0..1, cast it.
    float red = static_cast<float>(redCh) / 255.0f;
    float green = static_cast<float>(greenCh) / 255.0f;
    float blue = static_cast<float>(blueCh) / 255.0f;
    setRgbColor(red, green, blue);

// Color updated from the cloud,
// if the LED is on because of the PIR, or if the LED is on permanently -> Set the color.
void colorChanged(MbedCloudClientResource *resource, m2m::String newValue) {
    int status = ledStatus->get_value_int();

    if (ledOnBecauseOfPir || status == STATUS_ON) {

// Status changes from the cloud
void statusChanged(MbedCloudClientResource *resource, m2m::String newValue) {
    int newStatus = ledStatus->get_value_int();

    switch (newStatus) {
        case STATUS_ON: // Permanently on? OK.
        case STATUS_NONE: // Otherwise listen to PIR sensor
        case STATUS_OFF:  // Or be off forever

// Timeout (from led/0/timeout) happened after PIR sensor was triggered...
void onPirTimeout() {
  // if we're not permanent on
    if (ledStatus->get_value_int() != STATUS_ON) {
        // clear the lights

        ledOnBecauseOfPir = false;

// When the PIR sensor fires...
void pir_rise() {
    // Update the resource
    pirCount->set_value(pirCount->get_value_int() + 1);

    // Permanent off? Don't put the lights on...
    if (ledStatus->get_value_int() == STATUS_OFF) return;

    // Otherwise do it!
    ledOnBecauseOfPir = true;

    // And attach the timeout
    pirTimeout.attach(eventQueue.event(&onPirTimeout), static_cast<float>(ledTimeout->get_value_int()));

// Use the built-in LED as a status LED
DigitalOut statusLed(LED1);
int        statusLedBlinkId;    // Callback ID
void blink_builtin_led() {
    statusLed = !statusLed;

void registered(const ConnectorClientEndpointInfo *endpoint) {
    // When we registered with Pelion Device Management, blink faster

    statusLedBlinkId = eventQueue.call_every(300, &blink_builtin_led);

    printf("Connected to Pelion Device Management. Endpoint Name: %s\n", endpoint->internal_endpoint_name.c_str());

int main(int, char**) {
    // Blink the built-in LED every 1000ms. After registering we'll blink every 300ms.
    statusLedBlinkId = eventQueue.call_every(1000, &blink_builtin_led);

    // Disable the LED
    setRgbColor(0.0f, 0.0f, 0.0f);

    // The PIR sensor uses interrupts, no need to poll

    printf("Connecting to the internet...\n");
    NetworkInterface *network = NetworkInterface::get_default_instance();
    if (network->connect() != NSAPI_ERROR_OK) {
        printf("Connect to internet failed...\n");
        return 1;
    printf("Connected to the network successfully. IP address: %s\n", network->get_ip_address());

    client = new SimpleMbedCloudClient(network, bd, &fs);

    int init_rt = client->init();
    if (init_rt != 0) {
        printf("Failed to initialize Pelion Device Management Client (%d)", init_rt);
        return 1;

    // Resource declarations
    ledColor = client->create_resource("3311/0/5706", "LED_Color");
    // We encode color in 3 bytes [R, G, B] and put it in an integer by providing the color as an hex value (default color: green)
    ledColor->methods(M2MMethod::GET | M2MMethod::PUT);

    ledTimeout = client->create_resource("3311/0/5853", "LED_Timeout");
    ledTimeout->methods(M2MMethod::GET | M2MMethod::PUT);

    ledStatus = client->create_resource("3311/0/5850", "LED_Status");
    ledStatus->methods(M2MMethod::GET | M2MMethod::PUT);

    pirCount = client->create_resource("3201/0/5700", "PIR_Count");

    printf("Connecting to Pelion Device Management...\n");

    // Start registering to the cloud.

    // eventually you can also run this in a separate thread


The code sample above sets up the connection and declares some resources. You define a resource for every part of the program that needs to be available from the cloud:

  • The color of the LED should be configurable.
  • The period between the moment of motion detection to the moment lights go out should be configurable.
  • There should be a permanent-on mode for the lights.
  • You should notify Device Management whenever you detect movement.

Think of resources as pieces of information the device makes available. You can read or write to them from the cloud, and the device can use a resource's value to determine the correct action to perform. You can reach a resource with a URI and access modifier (for example, only write allowed), and you can also subscribe to them, so you receive a notification when a resource changes.

This application defines the following resources (under // Resource declarations):

  • 3311/0/5706 - the color of the LED.
  • 3311/0/5853 - the timeout (in seconds) after detection; lights are disabled when this period ends.
  • 3311/0/5850 - whether you should have the lights permanently on (or off).
  • 3201/0/5700 - the number of times the PIR sensor was triggered. Read only, and should allow notifications.

You can use the create_resource function to define extra resources and attach actions to each resource.

When you compile and flash this program, you'll see that when you wave your hand in front of the PIR sensor, the color of the LED changes to green, and the LED always turns off after 5 seconds.

When the connection to Device Management is created, the onboard LED blinks faster. You can now control this device from the cloud.

Note: No connection? Inspect the logs on the device. Use baud rate 115,200 to communicate with your device.

Note: If you receive an fcc_init error, re-format the SD card (FAT). If your computer does not have an SD-card slot, see the format-sd-card Mbed program.