Posts with «internet of things» label

Automatic Garage Door Opener Works for Your Cat

Using an Arduino or Raspberry Pi to perform a task in the real world is certainly a project we’ve seen here before, and certainly most of these projects help to make up the nebulous “Internet of Things” that’s all the rage these days. Once in a while though, a project comes along that really catches our eye, as is the case with [Jamie’s] meticulously documented automatic garage door opener.

This garage door opener uses an ATMega328 to connect the internet to the garage door. A reed switch is installed which lets the device sense the position of the door, which is relayed back to the internet. [Jamie] wrote an Android app that can open and close the door and give the user the information on the door’s status. One really interesting feature is the ability to “crack” the garage door. This is done by triggering the garage door opener twice with a delay in between. From the video after the break we’d say this is how [Jamie’s] cat gets in and out.

We love seeing projects that are extremely well documented so that anyone who wants to make one can easily figure out how. Internet-connected garage door openers have been featured in other unique ways before too, but we’ve also seen ways to automatically open blinds or chicken coops!

Filed under: home hacks, internet hacks

Electricity Monitoring with a Light-to-Voltage Sensor, MQTT and some Duct Tape

When it comes down to energy management, having real-time data is key. But rarely is up-to-the-minute kilowatt hour information given out freely by a Utility company, which makes it extremely hard to adjust spending habits during the billing cycle. So when we heard about [Jon]‘s project to translate light signals radiating out of his meter, we had to check it out.

From the looks of it, his hardware configuration is relatively simple. All it uses is a TSL261 Light-to-Voltage sensor connected to an Arduino with an Ethernet shield attached. The sensor is then taped above the meter’s flashing LED, which flickers whenever a pulse is sent out indicating every time a watt of electricity is used. His configuration is specific to the type of meter that was installed by his Utility, and there is no guarantee that all the meters deployed by that company are the same. But it is a good start towards a better energy monitoring solution.

And the entire process is documented on [Jon]’s website, allowing for more energy-curious people to see what it took to get it all hooked up. In it, he describes how to get started with MQTT, which is a machine-to-machine (M2M)/”Internet of Things” connectivity protocol, to produce a real-time graph, streaming data in from a live feed.

Now, with all this valuable information, other applications can be built on top of it. Interfacing with something like the Pinoccio microcontroller system can allow for devices to be turned off during peak-power times, helping to reduce the billing price at the end of the month.

Energy-intelligence platforms like this assist in conserving electricity while keeping the rate-payer consistently informed of their power usage habits. A real win, win. However, we still need to figure out how to (legally) extract the data from other types of meters.

One example is to harvest the information wirelessly with a special USB dongle to gather the data emitting from the Utility meter. But this only works for that brand of meter. Another solution is to read infrared flashes with an AVR, a resistor, a capacitor, and a phototransistor, which is similar to what [Jon] created above.

So, what kind of meter do you have? And, do you think there is a better way to extract the kWh data? Let us know in the comments, and let’s see what we can come up with.

Filed under: home hacks

Home Automation for Makers goes Arduino At Heart! Support them on indiegogo

A connected home is in the dreams of many of us and we all spent at least a few moments thinking about how would it be for real. The problem is that most of the hardware devices and software platforms are not designed to work together and that’s why things become complicated.

Today we introduce you to a new Arduino At Heart project called EZcontrol.IT, crowdfunding now on Indiegogo, and designed to simplify the world  of internet of things:

EZcontrol.IT offers dedicated hardware that is affordable and easy to use, compatible and programmable with the Arduino™ IDE and language; designed to interact with a full and extensive software platform: Lelylan, that is an open, easy to use and personalize, cloud platform for Home Automation.

The project is composed by:

  •  EZboard, a low power consumption Arduino compatible board, equipped with an onboard Ethernet controller, microSD card socket, temperature sensor, and power relay. It’s designed to run for long periods of time powered by batteries and it integrates all the hardware necessary to implement most of the common applications for Home Automation.
  • Leylan platform, a very easy to use Home Automation cloud platform, universally compatible with any device capable of being connected to the web. It’s  based on the MQTT protocol (MQ Telemetry Transport), the same used by Facebook to send live updates to the mobile messaging applications, and offers a simple API that can be used to program basically any platform.

EZcontrol.IT decided to join the Arduino AtHeart program to better identify this solution as dedicated to makers, and to remark the compatibility with the Arduino platform at the highest possible level.

EZboard in bundle with Lelylan is available starting today for a short initial period of pre-order, with packages for makers and extremely affordable early-birds offers. Make your pledge!

Insert Coin: Arduino-compatible Pinoccio microcontroller sports battery, WiFi

In Insert Coin, we look at an exciting new tech project that requires funding before it can hit production. If you'd like to pitch a project, please send us a tip with "Insert Coin" as the subject line.

It's been said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Improving on a good idea, however, is truly the ultimate homage, according to the makers of the new Pinoccio microcontroller. Inspired by the Arduino, the brain trust behind the Pinoccio decided to take the stuff they liked about the popular platform -- ease of programming and low cost -- and add some features to make it even better. These include a rechargeable battery, a temperature sensor and a built-in radio that allows one Pinoccio with a WiFi shield to communicate wirelessly with other Pinoccios. The microcontroller also delivers performance that stacks up well with an Arduino Mega but at a smaller size -- the Pinoccio only measures a couple of inches long and an inch wide. The project is currently trying to raise $60,000 at Indiegogo, with supporters netting the standard Pinoccio by pledging $49 and a microcontroller with a WiFi shield for $99. For more details, feel free to check out the video after the break or peruse the project's Indiegogo page by clicking at the source link.

Previous project update: The Lomography Smartphone Film Scanner was apparently ready for its closeup. The Kickstarter project more than tripled its $50,000 goal with two more weeks to go.

Filed under: Misc


Source: Indiegogo

Arduino GSM/GPRS Shield gets helping hand from Telefonica for data, remote control

Arduino devices have had the option of a GSM linkup for awhile, but getting that cellular link to truly strut its stuff hasn't always been easy, even for those of us who'd be inclined to program an Arduino in the first place. Enter Telefonica, which wants to be the backbone of your internet of things. It's backing a new version of the GSM/GPRS Shield add-on (shown here) by offering both the expected machine-to-machine SIMs for the cellular connection as well as freshly added remote control of the board through the carrier's BlueVia pages. The Shield itself is getting a quiet upgrade in the process -- the software both takes up a smaller footprint and can now talk to the world in the background while the Arduino keeps on keepin' on. If you happen to be in Berlin, the new Shield is making the rounds at Campus Party workshops until April 25th. Neither side has said how readily available the new part will be available after that; for now, you can familiarize yourself with the current technology at the source link.

Continue reading Arduino GSM/GPRS Shield gets helping hand from Telefonica for data, remote control

Filed under: Peripherals, Wireless

Arduino GSM/GPRS Shield gets helping hand from Telefonica for data, remote control originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 24 Aug 2012 11:41:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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KegDroid: Combining Arduino, Android, and NFC to Dispense Beer

Happy to see the KegBot Project adding a new fancy Android shell as casing.

“If you are looking for an exciting hardware project, KegDroid deserves a look. It is a sophisticated system that involves Android, Arduino, NFC, plumbing and — beer. Perhaps the final stroke of genius is to package the whole thing in a Droid body. Some how the little green fella looks at home on the bar. You have heard of desktop and laptop apps now we have bartop apps to add to the list

via [SlashDot]

Adafruit's Internet of Things Printer combines your love of information, receipts

Love staying connected and using excess paper? Adafruit's got your back with its latest project. The Internet of Things (IoT) printer goes online via an Ethernet jack, printing up data on 2.5 inch wide receipt paper. You can print things like Twitter feeds, news briefs or sports scores using its open source software. Putting the box together requires some soldering and an Arduino, but once you're done, you'll finally be able to live out your fantasies of becoming an old timey stock broker. Video of the printer with a slightly grating Twitter song soundtrack after the break.

Continue reading Adafruit's Internet of Things Printer combines your love of information, receipts

Adafruit's Internet of Things Printer combines your love of information, receipts originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 22 Feb 2012 19:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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