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Part 2. Setting up the Yun
The $55 Arduino Yun
A major requirement of this project is that a WiFi connection is established automatically so that the sensor data can be sent to a remotely accessible visualization. The script that collects and sends sensor data should also start automatically in case it loses power.
An Arduino is perfect for this because it will run whatever sketch was last uploaded onto it when it is powered on. There are WiFi modules that you can add onto smaller Arduinos, but the Yun has an onboard WiFi module that makes establishing an internet connection easy. The Yun can even run Linux, though we don't take advantage of that in this project. The Arduino board also gives us a solder-free way to hook up both analog and digital sensors.
A lot of sensors can be difficult to hook up without a large breadboard, and many of them require extra resistors or capacitors. Grove sensors don't have these issues because they have an easy breakout connector, and any required resistors and capacitors are already attached to the sensor board.
Note: A more "practical" way to implement this project (saving the Yun for a more intensive project and saving you money) would be to use a smaller microcontroller with the popular ESP8266 WiFi module. The problem with these lightweight WiFi modules is that they can't handle the TLS protocol which keeps your data safe during it's transportation over the internet. So, although we're only communicating whether or not the trash is full, other applications could pose a security risk. There is a way around this which involves putting together a router that acts as a sort of device "hub" that can take local data and secure it before shipping it over the internet. I hope to have a tutorial out on putting one of those together in the near future!