Dear Prota Pi users,
We’ve been announcing and teasing a lot about the new version of Prota, MicroBot Cloud (aka Prota Charles), and the changes it would bring to MicroBot Hub S (aka Prota S) and MicroBot Push. However, we haven’t mentioned much about Prota Pi and the availability of the new version update on Raspberry Pi. We think it’s about time.
A quick recap on the update — MicroBot Cloud
With the new update, your Prota S will operate in the Cloud. We call it MicroBot Cloud. It enables you to enjoy new features such as:
- Cloud-pairing of the MicroBots
- Turn your smartphone into a hub to control and monitor remotely your MicroBots without requiring a Prota device
- Native webhooks for the MicroBots (MicroBot Push and the upcoming MicroBot Sense)
- Integrations with third-party devices and services such as Amazon Alexa, IFTTT, Google Home. Some of them are currently being developed and will be released in the coming months.
Starting from this update, both MicroBot Push and MicroBot Hub are managed within the MicroBot Push app.
MicroBot Cloud on Raspberry Pi
First of all, we would like to thank all our users for their ongoing support and interest in Prota OS, we wouldn’t have made it this far in this journey without you. Our very initial version of Prota born in 2012 (version 0.1) was actually first supported by Raspberry Pi (B at the time). Since then, you have followed us from the development of Ambiency, the first version of Stories app, and other apps (GPIO, Webcam, Stories…), the release of the OS on Raspberry Pi 3… to the development of a Raspberry Zero W version and Kiosk app, the last-born of the Prota apps available on Raspberry.
That is why, since developing our own hardware MicroBot Hub S (previously known as Prota S), we always cared about developing and upgrading two versions of our software, one for Raspberry Pi and one for the hardware we developed ourselves, MicroBot Hub.
Availability on Raspberry Pi
Once launched, MicroBot Hub’s Raspberry Pi version (i.e. Hub Pi) will be available on all versions of Raspberry Pi: B, B+, 2, 3 and zero W.
When installed, the Raspberry Pi will be transformed into a hub that will act as a bridge between MicroBot Cloud and your DIY project (and your MicroBots if you own any). It will allow you to integrate your project with third-party devices and services such as Amazon Alexa, IFTTT and Google Home. Just like MicroBot Hub.
Some of the features might not come for free, but most of them will be available under a free-tier: you will be able to try some services free of charge, within certain usage limits. We will give you more details on this in due time.
Consequences on Prota Pi
As we move on to a new, cloud, version, limited resources have forced us to take a hard decision: we are not able to offer you an improved and polished version for your Prota Pi at the moment. Besides, from now on, we won’t be updating much Prota Space app and the current version of Prota: Bernard OS. We will rather focus on developing the new version.
When MicroBot Hub Pi version is released, some apps will become unavailable. We will release them again progressively. So you may have to consider carefully whether to update immediately or not when the time comes. Since we love our makers community and wish to continue supporting it, you will be given the choice.
If you’ve been using Prota Pi simply as an alternative to Prota S in order to control your MicroBot Push remotely, then you will have much to gain from this upcoming version, as all of our new products, including the upcoming MicroBot Sense, will be based on MicroBot Cloud from now on. You can learn what MicroBot Cloud will bring to MicroBot Push here.
MicroBot Cloud is a big change. And, just as your MicroBot Hub users, we wanted to announce that we will make sure our Prota Pi users enjoy it as well, as soon as possible. Stay tuned! We will keep you posted on the release of the Hub Pi as soon as possible.
And, as always, if you have any questions regarding this update, please do not hesitate to contact our Support team. They will be glad to help!