For a while, Home Automation has been an interesting area to explore for me. But living in a rented house, changing the electrical connections (or hacking them) or the aesthetics is not allowed to an extent. So I have chosen an extension box which I can hack and modify without any constraint. I can, in turn, connect my home appliances to the extension box and control the power to the appliances. This way I have been doing projects for a while with different development boards and approaches (More projects are yet to come and are in progress).

 

This post will serve as an index/ consolidation to all the Home Automation projects that I have done so far. You can go through each one of them and let me know your valuable comments and suggestions in the comments section below so that I can see if there is any room for improvement or I can adapt them to my future projects.

 

Warning

Please do not attempt any of the projects below without proper electrical knowledge or guidance.

Roadtest

 

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Digilent ARTY S7 Dev Board (Xilinx Spartan 7) - Review

Link to the Roadtest Review - Digilent ARTY S7 Dev Board (Xilinx Spartan 7) - Review

 

[Extract from the roadtest]

 

At the first sight of the switches in Arty S7, I had the thought of creating a handy control to turn ON and OFF the power of AC appliances. This actually made me apply for this road test. Once I received the board when I moved the slide switches they flowed like butter! Then I bought a 4 relay board to hack a junction/ extension box at my home. After this, I bought two Bluetooth transceivers to make a wireless connection between Arty S7 and the relay. At later point of time did I came to know that, the serial TX and RX is only available via USB-UART and not accessible otherwise. So I had to add another Arduino UNO to transfer the state of the switches via Bluetooth to the Relay board which in turn connected to another Arduino UNO.

 

Check out this home automation project in the video below.

 

 

 

Design Challenge

 

 

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Design for a Cause - Design Challenge

Link to the Design challenge blog - Cue System for Anosmia and Smart WheelChair #8a - Home Appliance Control

 

[Extract from the Design challenge Blog]

 

Introduction

 

     The ‘Home Appliance Control’ section of the Smart Wheelchair will provide the ability to voice control the power to home appliances like TV, mobile chargers etc. Alexa will listen to the voice command, then process it and pass on the desired action to be taken, to the Arduino MKR1000. The main smell sensing unit will have the Arduino MKR1000 whereas the extra unit will have the Arduino UNO connected to the four channel relay module. The instruction will be communicated through Bluetooth between the master Arduino MKR1000 (main unit) and the slave Arduino UNO (extra unit). In correspondence with the instruction, the respective relay will be turned ON or OFF. For instance, if you command, Alexa, charge my phone, then the relay associated with the phone charger will turn ON and will start charging your phone.

 

     For the explanation and idea about the complete hardware setup for this project, visit this link - Cue System for Anosmia and Smart WheelChair #7 - Hardware Explained and Case

 

List of Hardware and Software involved

 

     Below is the list of hardware and software involved in making a 'Fall and Collision Detection' system. Click on the names in order to be directed to the site where you can buy or access the resource.

 

     Hardware

     Software

 

Circuit Connection Diagram

 

     Below is the circuit connection diagram for the 'Home Appliance Control' section of the smart wheelchair. There are two subsections, the Arduino MKR1000 connected with Bluetooth module acting as master and the Arduino UNO connected with Bluetooth module acting as the slave and four channel relay module. This relay is in turn connected to an extension box with four outlets to plug in the home appliances. Out of the four only three are connected in a way that it can be controlled. The remaining one is for the DC fan of the main smell sensing unit, which will be always ON.

 

     Reference for: Configuring Master Slave Bluetooth - video

 

 

 

Outcome

 

    Below is the video showing a demo of the outcome for the phase I of the 'Home Appliance Control' section without Alexa integrated.

 

 

Design for a Cause - Design Challenge

Link to the Design challenge blog - Cue System for Anosmia and Smart WheelChair #8b - Home Appliance Control

 

[Extract from the Design challenge Blog]

 

Introduction

 

     The ‘Home Appliance Control’ section of the Smart Wheelchair will provide the ability to voice control the power to home appliances like TV, mobile chargers etc. Alexa will listen to the voice command, then process it and pass on the desired action to be taken, to the Arduino MKR1000. The main smell sensing unit will have the Arduino MKR1000 whereas the extra unit will have the Arduino UNO connected to the four channel relay module. The instruction will be communicated through Bluetooth between the master Arduino MKR1000 (main unit) and the slave Arduino UNO (extra unit). In correspondence with the instruction, the respective relay will be turned ON or OFF. For instance, if you command, Alexa, charge my phone, then the relay associated with the phone charger will turn ON and will start charging your phone.

 

     The process goes like this when you instruct Alexa, the instructions are understood by Alexa and it calls out the respective applet in IFTTT. Then IFTTT triggers the respective action for the obtained input from Alexa. The action would be to pass a POST request to thinger.io with JSON body as below. This has the input variable 'state' passed to the Arduino MKR1000 through its API in thinger.io. Based on the state passed Arduino MKR1000 (master) communicates the corresponding relay to be turned ON/ OFF to the Arduino UNO (slave) connected to the Relay module. For instance, 1 - Turns the mobile charger ON and 2 - Turns OFF the mobile charger, 3 & 4 for the next relay ON & OFF and 5 & 6 for the third relay.

 

{
  "in": {
    "state": 1
  }
}

 

     For the list of hardware and software involved and the circuit diagram, visit this blog - Cue System for Anosmia and Smart WheelChair #8a - Home Appliance Control. For the explanation and idea about the complete hardware setup for this project, visit this blog - Cue System for Anosmia and Smart WheelChair #7 - Hardware Explained and Case

 

Outcome

 

    Below is the video showing a demo of the outcome for phase II of the 'Home Appliance Control' section with Alexa integrated.

 

Project14 Projects

 

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'WatchAble' - The Smart Wear:it Watch

Link to the Project14 blog - 'WatchAble' - The Smart Wear:it Watch

 

[Extract from the Project14 Blog]

 

Introduction

 

This is 'WatchAble' - a wearable watch capable of doing cool things! It has been developed using wear:it development kit from micro:bit. The name of this project is the combination of the words 'Watch' and 'capAble'. The wear:it development kit has a strap which helps us to wear the micro:bit inside a case as a watch. Though currently there is no option to display time which is the expected out of watch, I'll integrate it at a later point of time. For now, this is capable of performing the functionalities explained below.

 

Modes

 

There are various modes available which can be accessed by pressing Btn A + Btn B together in the micro:bit inside the wear:it development kit. The following are the various modes available for now,

  • Smart Home - In this mode, we can control the home appliances by the press of a button (Btn B) in the wear:it development kit! There is a receiving unit which executes the command sent wirelessly from wear:it development kit which is as follows: A micro:bit connected in the same radio group as wear:it development kit receives wirelessly the command containing a number corresponding to the relay and its respective state. This is in turn serially connected to Arduino Uno which updates the relay state according to the command received. Numbers from 1 to 6 are used to control three relays. Odd numbers are used to represent ON state and even for OFF state. For example, for relay 1, number 1 is used to turn it ON and number 2 is used to turn it OFF. By default when this mode is activated, number 1 appears on the 25 LED micro:bit display in the wear:it development kit. This can be incremented by pressing Btn A and then Btn B is used to send the command to the receiving unit.
  • Shake it - This feature is a hands free implementation of the above mode. When you shake it sends wirelessly the relay and its respective state. On the next shake followed by, it changes the state by itself. If the first shake turns ON the relay, the next shake turns in OFF. For simplicity, I have configured for a single relay. When there is a state sent either ON or OFF is displayed in the  wear:it development kit.
  • Light Level - In this mode, the light level of the surrounding is displayed.
  • Temperature - In this mode, we can have a view of the real time temperature of the surrounding.

 

 

Demo

 

The below video is the demo explaining the various modes and features of 'WatchAble'. Let you know your comments, suggestion in the comments section below.

 

IoT Magical Wand

Link to the Projec14 blog - IoT Magical Wand 

 

I have not included this since this project has won a prize already. You can visit the blog to know further.

 

Have you got any suggestion or comment? Let me know in the comments section below.