Introduction: NasaFlask

Flask is an intelligent beverage container that interacts with the International Space Station. It allows the user to experience the excitement of space exploration through their bottle. Using the cloud network, Flask is constantly aware of the ISS’s location and relays that information to the user through the use of an LED ring.

We decided we wanted to make something fun, that had a less serious tone than other projects we’ve undertaken in previous years. Thus, Flask was born. The idea was made to connect to completely unrelated areas: beverage consumption and the International Space Station. The idea formed into an intelligent bottle that displays the ISS’s location on a compass-like ring of lights.

Step 1: Step 1: Set Up Your Photon

Take your photon and connect it to your computer. It will not connect to anything immediately, in terms of getting code on it, but it will have power. That's important.

Once it's up, go on your phone and download the Particle app on your phone.

Once it's installed, open it up and do these steps:

  1. create an account (write down credentials)
  2. set up new photon
  3. scan for active devices
  4. choose device that appears closest (best connection) to you
  5. enter wifi information (which will be uploaded to the photon firmware

And thats it! On to step 2.

Step 2: Step 2 - Set Up Your IDE

Particle uses its own IDE. It's located at :

Once at the site, log in with your particle information from your phone.

You should immediately see the photon on a list of devices. Next go to this site and get this code: github

Copy and paste the code into your IDE and save it as a new piece of code.

Then press the 'flash' button. Your Photon should flash magenta, and then just like that the coding is done.

Step 3: Step 3: Make Your Circuit

You will need:

  1. solder
  2. soldering iron
  3. a 3X5 in protoboard
  4. headers (so you dont have to solder the photon)
  5. an 8-light Neopixel Ring
  6. a lithium ion battery
  7. three long wires
  8. the connector for the L-Ion Battery.

Solder together the headers for the photon onto a board in the same allignment as the photon would need.

solder wires to the VCC, GND and Data-In spots. Those wires should go like this:

VCC -> +3V

Data-In -> D8


Meanwhile you should prepare the battery connector so that the + side goes to the VIN pin on the photon, and the - side goes to GND

Your circuit should look like the diagram above. Above are several circuits like the one your made.

Step 4: Step 4: Attach to Your Bottle

You will need:

  1. a hot glue gun
  2. a bottle
  3. tupperware
  4. a marker
  5. a knife

First, measure how the tupperware will fit as a false bottom on your bottle. Mark a line horizontally across the tupperware so your know approximately where to cut. MAKE SURE THE LID IS NOT CUT OFF.

cut the BOTTOM of the tupperware off and fit/adjust for the bottle.

Prepare the Neopixel ring from before, which will be wired, and using the hot glue gun, secure it to the face of the bottle with the wires at the bottom of the ring. Glue the ring down, and make sure it is secure.

Next, place the circuit and the wires into the tupperware. Then, put the tupperware so that the open hole of the tupperware is met with the base of the bottle. Once it's secure, use hot glue to secure the two bases together.

Step 5: Step 5: Decorate!

Technically you're done. However, your bottle will probably look BAD. This is normal, welcome to the world of electronics.

It's time for you to decorate the bottle!. Just make sure you don't interfere with the ability of the bottle to stand up. Otherwise, go nuts!

I did not go too far with this, instead I stuck with a minimalistic 'sock'.

I hope your bottle works as well as mine!