Home Automation

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Smart is a widely used adjective nowadays- smartphones, smart bulbs, smart locks, even smart toilets! So many smart devices, a network of them is sure to make a smart office, right?


The best (and most fun) way to find out is to test that hypothesis. Lucky for us, we work at MATRIX Labs, home base to the MATRIX Creator and MATRIX Voice. Most components we need are compiled in a less than 30.25pi cm^2 area. We waste no time in getting started.

















The first step is to do some background research. We use Alfred our Innovation Manager’s home as a case study. He is well on his way to turning his apartment into the smart home you would never forget. He has a MATRIX Creator controlled projector which serves as the home entertainment hub. It has its own calibration sequence using a servo before artfully projecting perfectly onto the wall space above a table. The MATRIX Creator’s LEDs serve as ambient lighting. He has a smart RGB bulb in the hallway. His bluetooth speaker is turned on with a servo. To wrap it all up he has a voice-controlled light switch with the MATRIX Voice for the main lights in his home. Did I mention he uses the Raspberry Pi controlling his projector as a server to control all the other devices through a simple website interface on his phone as well?


We have lots to build off of, and we decide to start with the voice-controlled lights. Alfred has become a pro at putting this together so he whips one up for the office. Recipe below:


Step 1: Setting up Snips, a privacy focused offline voice assistant, to detect voice commands and send out a call for action.


We install the SAM CLI tool on our personal computer and connect it to the Raspberry Pi that will be running Snips.


Then we create a Snips Assistant and a light controlling application on their website console, and deploy it. You can check out how to do this from a workshop we had conducted for Arm DevDay earlier in the year.


Create an assistant and app to control lights


Step 2: Writing the MATRIX Voice action code to control the lights once a voice command is received.


We create 3 files: assistant.js to catch commands and respond with actions, relay.js to control the relay switch for the lights, and everloop.js to have MATRIX LED feedback from the MATRIX Voice.


Step 3: Wiring the relay and 3D printing & assembling the case.


First, we connect 5V from our MATRIX Voice to VCC, the ground pin from our MATRIX Voice to GND, and GPIO pin 0 to IN to match the relay.js file.


Then, we open up our office light switch. Before starting this part, we flip the breaker which powers the light switch. That way there is no electricity running through the wires and we avoid any shocking accidents!


Once we have unscrewed the switch from the wall we disconnect all 3 wires from the switch. We only need the 2 live wires so we use electrical tape to cover the green ground wire.


Now that we have the 2 live wires from the wall, we wire them to the relay as shown below.


Alfred then 3D prints the same case he designed for his house.


We put it all together and voila, we are on our way to becoming a smart office! Now we just need 6 more of these babies.


Check out our live stream on how to create your own voice-controlled lights!



Stay tuned for updates on our journey to becoming a smart office and feel free to suggest new ideas to help us automate!