Basic browser - accessing custom local network pages

Hi all!

Very new to Arduino. Currently waiting for my first ones to arrive, but I have a longer-term project idea that I'd like to get feasibility for.

Essentially, my idea is to have a local webserver (only serving to the local network) with custom, hand-built pages that are pretty basic. This would serve what will essentially be a control system for my smart-home and other bits in the flat. I'd like to be able to have some screens peppered around my flat, controlled by Arduinos, that serve this page and can be interacted with using buttons. I'm not going to attempt to make a general web browser, it would just be for these highly simplified pages (static HTML for one thing).

Before I get too deep into this project, I want to know whether it's even feasible and if it is, what sort of power it's going to need. I'm under no illusions about it being a lot of work - the technical challenge is half the point! The main constraint is that it needs to be battery-powered, although I am willing to get rechargeables or use power banks.

The WEMOS ESP8266 D1-mini is a tiny board and can host a few web pages. You would be able to access any single unit with your smart phone or such.

If you wanted to move up a lot, you can get a Raspberry Pi and host Node Red.

The ESP8266 can send to Node Red, so this can be a gradual increase in functionality.

search for ESP8266 host web page
and for reference the beginners guide to the ESP8266 is excellent.

Hey, thanks for the response. Think you've slightly misunderstood though, I've already got the hosting figured out (got a raspberry pi already). I'd be looking to use the Arduino for the devices accessing the pages.

ESP8266 can connect to the Wifi and connect buttons and light a display.

so, if you want a remote with a couple of buttons and then get data from either local or net and then display that data on simple display, the ESP8266 should work well.

the beginners guide to EXP8266 is the best reference.

Awesome, thank you very much! I'll have a gander through that guide now. It's good to know that my idea ought to be doable :slight_smile:

Just a point here. The ESP is of course, not an Arduino. I don't think any actual Arduinos incorporate an ESP, even the WiFi ones.

Adding an ESP to an Arduino is generally not really practical as the ESP is vastly more capable than most actual Arduinos, it is more correct to say that you might add an Arduino to an ESP as some sort of GPIO multiplexer but even that is generally poor design as you are better off adding proper port expanders and interfaces via I²C. Why? Because to use an Arduino as an attachment to an ESP, you have to invent a whole communications protocol between the two and using port expanders is considerably easier.

Now I am certainly not suggesting that you should not discuss the use of ESPs on a specifically Arduino (hosted) forum - we are perfectly happy to do so. We consider ESPs as if they were Arduinos and of course, generally program them with the Arduino IDE (which does manage other devices beyond actual Arduino designs).

It is just that I like to point out that as soon as you begin to discuss Web applications and particularly WiFi systems (rather than Ethernet which you would use where reliability is important), you really have moved yourself away from Arduino boards. :sunglasses:

Yeah that's a totally fair thing to point out. It's something I was aware of but it's useful to be reminded :). The nature of the setup is that even if there ends up being an Arduino in that part of the setup (which I don't currently see why there would be) there won't be any need for direct communication between the two. There won't be latency concerns so any communication can go via the hub/network.