IoTa (an affective Internet of Things) refers to the collective custom circuit designs (hardware) and my authored nodes and flows (software) maintained and continuously developed to support my PhD research work. It uses the node-RED framework supported by the JS Foundation, and also includes other supporting software technologies not included on this website.

My custom nodes (see below) are released under the MIT License. The flows shared in the class tutorials and server instances adopt the same Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License as with the rest of this website.

Links to the node-RED nodes that I have contributed to the public domain can be found here:



chuank/node-red-contrib-instagram (via Github)

When do we use MQTT over Particle?

The most likely reason would be cost. Photons are wonderful devices with an equally great supporting infrastructure in the form of the Particle cloud server and associated utilities. The Photon is almost a turnkey solution for experimenting with the IoT.

MQTT is also an open standard like the Particle platform, but requires just a bit more effort to set up the server portion of the ecosystem.

Both MQTT and Particle cloud options are accessible through IoTa / node-RED, MQTT support is built into node-RED, while Particle devices can be interfaced with using my node-red-contrib-particle nodes.

If you are comfortable with setting up servers, MQTT gives far more flexibility in deciding how you want your server set up and removing the reliance on a third party web service (the Particle Cloud). Otherwise, Particle provides a quick entry into the world of the IoT.