Build an Easy ISS Notifier

By: TokyLabs Time Required: 1-3 Hours Difficulty: Easy Price: $60-$70

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You can easily create a hardware notifier that lifts UP a paper astronaut to alert you each time the International Space Station passes over your location. Way more fun than a text!

Tokymaker is a microcomputer from TokyLabs that lets you create inventions in 5 minutes by mixing electronics, programming, and IoT — with no prior engineering knowledge. Electronic modules connect without soldering, and everything is open source. It’s programmed from a website, which sends code over Wi-Fi — no cables, software, or plugins. Using the graphical language Google Blockly, even non-programmers can easily create code.

  • 1 × TokyMaker $50 from
  • 1 × Hobby servomotor
  • 3 × Batteries AA
  • 1 × Wooden craft sticks or chopsticks
  • 1 × Paper printouts of space station and astronaut images

View all 9 components

  • 1
    Set up Adafruit IO feed

    Create a cloud account at Then click on Feeds→Actions→Create a New Feed. Name it “ISS.” Click the View AIO Key button, then copy your unique key somewhere safe — you’ll need it later to link your Tokymaker to your Adafruit IO feed.

  • 2
    Set up IFTTT action

    Create an account at This site links Internet services in a very simple way. In our case: If the ISS passes over a specific address, then send the number 100 to your Adafruit ISS feed.

    First you’ll choose the trigger. Select New Applet, then click on “+ this” and type “Space” in the search bar. Click the Space icon, then choose “ISS passes over a specific location,” then type your address and click on “Create trigger”.

    Next, create the action: sending the number 100 to the Adafruit IO feed. Click on “+ that” and choose Adafruit. Click the Connect button and complete the fields in the popup window. Then, click on “Create action.” The cloud setup is done!

  • 3
    Program the Tokymaker

    Now for the physical part: Every time the number 100 is in the Adafruit IO feed, your Tokymaker will run a program to turn on a light, move a motor, whatever you want. Go to and download the basic ISS Notifier code to your Tokymaker. (Or make it yourself at!)

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