Alexa, Put the Kettle On!

Make a smart kettle for under £60 using Alexa and Arduino.


Why make two trips to the kitchen, or hang around waiting for the kettle to boil when you can just ask Alexa to put the kettle on?

Alexa, Put the Kettle On!

This project uses as few components as possible and is really easy to follow but it does involve tinkering with mains powered devices and water. So be careful and always make sure the kettle is unplugged when working on it! You will need to know how to solder to complete this hack.

Try it for yourself

I’ve published a demo version of the Skill HERE. If you add this to your Alexa account then visit the Shiftr Namespace HERE you will be able to say “Alexa, put the kettle on” and see a blip move around the node map to the device brewTime-TEST. You can also see the state of the request in the top left corner. The device brewTime-01 is the kettle in my house, you can’t control this but you can see it’s state.


  • An Amazon developer account, create one here if needed
  • An Alexa-enabled device associated with the above account
  • An AWS account, create one here if needed

How the services communicate

The software

Let’s get your MKR1000 talking to Alexa before we start hacking the kettle. This involves creating an Alexa Smarthome Skill, an AWS Lambda function to handle the requests from Alexa and using to communicate with the MKR1000.

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Setup a Namespace on shiftr

This service allows your MRK1000 to talk to AWS via a simple protocol called MQTT.

  • Click New Namespace, give it a name and click Create
  • Click on the Namespace Setting Page link and click Add Token
  • Leave everything as default and click Create Token

Make a note of your key and secret, you’ll need these later.

Setup LWA

First, you need to create an LWA security profile. Here’s how:

  • Click on Developer Console in the top right corner if you are not redirected
  • Click on Apps & Services, in the menu then click Login with Amazon in the submenu. (link)
  • Click on Create a New Security Profile
  • Fill in all three fields to create your security profile and click Save. The name and description are up to you and the privacy URL can just be
  • On the cog icon, click on Security Profile

Alexa, Put the Kettle On! schematics

Make a note of Client ID and Client Secret, we will need these later.

*** Leave this tab open, we will need to come back here later!

Create the skill

This is super easy! The steps here will provide you with the bare minimum required for a working Smart Home skill.

Read more: Alexa, Put the Kettle On!

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