Whether built, bought, or somewhere in between, what are the robots in your home doing these days?
I was hoping to get a general purpose home automation system so I tried investing in these things called "children", but they are proving to be a tricky technology. The learning time is extremely long, and the voice command system doesn't appear to work well. It's almost like they've developed their own thought processes and somehow consider me a servant. There's apparently no refund system either. I'm not sure it was a wise investment into home automation.
This one really worked for me, broke them down into a technical language I can understand.
I don't have anything on the go at the moment, but a couple of projects I did a while back:
I made a raspberry pi into an alexa-controlled pc turner-on-offer. Used the wemo API (there's a Python module for it) to respond to switch commands and made the pi send wake-on-lan to turn machines on and use an SSH command or RPC to shutdown Linux or
I made an IoT Teasmade. Tweets when tea is ready, makes tea etc. It's in bits at the moment.
The part of this that I liked the most is that I used the MW/VHF switch to choose between two playlists, one of 70s music and one of 80s music stations. When you turn the tuning knob (or issue the command from the API) it turns a salvaged mouse scroll wheel which can just be read from Python and basically does next or previous on the playlist. Every other track on the playlist is a 5-second recording of the tuning noises you used to get on radios when you were between stations so it sounds like someone is actually doing that.
Would you mind sharing how do you trigger your tea-pot from your program? I'm trying to do kinda the same for my coffee machine and i'm looking for idea, thanks!
The whole tea cycle is triggered by a switch linked to the clock - literally a metal contact on the hour hand. It uses mains voltages for that which is a little insane. I bought a cheap 4-relay board off ebay (about £5) and wired it directly to that switch and the GPIO pins so I can trigger the tea-making cycle, the heater, or the light separately. Once the tea is made the power shuts off automatically, so I don't have to do anything clever
I recently moved and have been getting my new place set up nicely. Any recommendations on hardware to play with would be much loved.
Speaking as an early-adopter...
For retail stuff:
Still, it's great to be able to manage and look after your house, remotely - especially when you either travel for business or pleasure.
What are your thoughts on going with single ecosystems or not, like certain lighting products from one company and some from another?
The simple path would be to commit to certain ecosystems but if I can wrap my head around my own architecture and have a handle on the gateways myself, it would be a good place to be.
Any idea if the products play nicely at all in this regard?
I'm a fan of heterogenous environments: I hate-lock-in. Unfortunately, as always, the the price of "freedom" is that you definitely increase the headache-factor.
I have both HUE and Lifx. I've mostly relegated my HUEs to areas where I don't care about color reproduction or brightness. Where I just care about brightness, I get the Lifx Day and Dusk. Where I care about color production - true colors and saturate colors - I go for the Lifx Mini Color. When it comes to alternative lighting form-factors, I haven't bought-in, yet ...mostly because I've got some outstanding household wiring-repairs to budget for. Lifx has their Beam and Tiles that look really nice, but I've no first-hand experience with, yet. That said, the Nanoleafs look compelling from a flexibility of deployment standpoint.
While Lifx has the best color and brightness, you pay for it: their lights are more expensive than HUE (haven't compared to NanoLeaf) and, if you've got a bigger house, you need to design your network to take into account that every Lifx light requires its own IP address. Further, if you have network blips (e.g. thunderstorm makes your wifi blink), need to be aware that it can take a couple minutes from when your wifi blinks till all of your Lifx lights are fully back on the network and controllable. Lastly, because each Lifx is individually configured, if you upgrade your wifi router and don't want to have to re-configure each and every light, you need to give your new router the same SSID and credentials as your prior router.
This problem is, however, not unique to Lifx. You can run into it with hubbed devices, too, if a given IoT vendor requires the use of their hub. Other unfun thing with hubbed devices is you can end up with a stack of hubs. One other nod to HUE, in this regard, is that some competing products will integrate with the HUE hub, cutting down on the amount of hub-sprawl (and you can supplement your HUE-branded bulbs with cheaper bulbs — the TRÅDFRIs from Ikea — and manage them all via your HUE hub and app).
Everything I know about home automation (next to nothing) I learned by following one of my favorite Twitter accounts: twitter.com/internetofshit
after searching the internets for months I went with loxone.com/enus/ (local, with minimal cloud features, API, software and hardware, free software, reliable)
if you want to go on DIY route dreamgreenhouse.com/designs/index.php has a lot of details on hardware and software ideas.
go with cheap "dumb" easy replaceable hardware and wired if it is possible.
Things in my apartment right now:
If I ever own a place, I'll deck out more and install fixtures like locks and stuff. But for now, I like this set up with my little apartment. Only things I'm tempted to improve are 1. a wifi Roomba since I hate cleaning 2. a wifi slow cooker so I can check on it while I'm at work and 3. an IoT router to play with.
My number one thing is to try to make my tassimo wireless. Why? Because I am lazy but the initial design has a couple of assumptions. That a cup is there and the coffee is in place.
I want to do it for fun mostly, no profit and the fact that I got the tassimo for free helps things.
It doesn't make things faster and it's mostly as a hobby project. Gains are in skills acquired I guess.
I've been setting up a "home dashboard" to collect a bunch of metrics that I expect to one day send to it! I also have a few temperature sensors sitting on my desk that I'm meaning to sprinkle around my apartment to see how temperature distribution works in my apartment. Otherwise, I have a few IoT connected lights that turn on and off automatically. Nothing out of the ordinary!
Just lights. I started a few years ago with Lifx bulbs off the first post "sponsors" run of the product (I missed the Kickstarter by a couple months). Color production capabilities - especially compared HUE's is amazing. I've had them on schedules since the day I installed them. Finally added a Google Home last year when Google had them on fire sale. Sorta completed the picture since, now, I can interactively use the lights without having to tote my phone around to open the app.
I recently bought a new kettle but didn't realise that it could be connected to a phone and alexa. I'm currently working on hooking it into my raspbery pi so that when i turn my alarm clock off in the morning it'll start boiling the water, all ready for the tea!
I am way too suspicious of computers (especially networked) to trust running anything more critical in my home than a stereo to them
A while back, I created a home automation project as part of my degree requirement and fortunately enough I documented most of my work.
Check it out goo.gl/yuYdRq
In short: it is a Smart Home Automation using Raspberry Pi and Arduino
Yeah I keep an eye of my home office's temperature with an RPI and trying to turn Air-conditioning on before I enter there each morning.
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