Posts with «smart home» label

Honey, When Did We Get an Indoor Pool?

Is it too much to ask for a home to have a little ‘smart’ built-in? If you’ve ever woken up (or come home) to your dwelling being flooded, you’ll know how terrible it feels, how long it can take to recover from, and how stressful it can be. Yeah, it’s happened to us before, so we really feel for [David Schneider]. He woke up one Sunday morning to a whole lot of water in his house. The inlet valve for his washing machine somehow got stuck in the open position after putting a load of laundry in the previous night.

[David] took progressively complex measures to prevent a broken water feed flood from happening in the future. First, he lined the entire floor of his laundry closet with a steel tray. OK, that’s a good start but won’t prevent another disaster unless it is caught very quickly. How about a simple audible water alarm? That’s good and all if you’re home, but what if you’re not?

Next, he installed a valve with a mechanical timer on the water line for the washing machine which closes automatically after 2 hours of being opened. Much better, but what about all the other thirsty appliances around the house? After searching online a little, he found plenty of whole house systems that would work for him, but there were 2 problems with these. First, most were network-based and he didn’t want to IoT-ify his house’s water system. Second, they were overpriced.

Of course the solution was to put together his own system! First, he purchased a few mostly inexpensive things — a wireless alarm, some water sensors, and a motorized ball valve. Then he collected the last few things he needed from what he had on hand around the house, and got to work connecting the 4 LEDs on the alarm to 4 analog input pins on his Arduino. Next, he added a relay between the Arduino and the motorized ball valve.

If a sensor detects water, it tells the alarm about it (wirelessly), which triggers the Arduino to energize a relay that is connected to the motorized ball valve, causing it to shut off the main water line for the entire house. Disaster averted! Sure, it’s a fairly simple hack, but it works, meets his requirements, and now he sleeps better at night knowing he won’t wake up (or come home) to an indoor swimming pool.

It’s surprising that we haven’t seen more hacks like this given it’s such a common problem. The closest thing we can remember is an overflow sensor for an aquarium. If homes came standard with a water main shutoff system, it would remove a stressful event from our lives and maybe even lower our insurance premium.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks, home hacks

Smart homes and pervasive technologies exhibition

Git Commit is an interactive installation and exhibition about smart homes, and user response to pervasive technologies entering our private spaces. The installation aims to further the research that Casa Jasmina, powered by Arduino and Genuino, is carrying out regarding social home environment from an open design and user centered perspective.

In order to deeply understand the impact of IoT in the house for the possible stakeholders, an interactive system of four mini-printers will be set up at Palazzo Clerici, a 17th century building located in the heart of the city of Milan, and firstly belonged to one of the oldest and most powerful Milanese families, the Visconti dei Consignori di Somma.

Each printer will be connected to Casa Jasmina GitHub repository where users will be able to respond to questions and spark new avenues to the project.

The feedback gained will inform new types of interactions and approaches to the future smart home, that will reflow in the Casa Jasmina design process.

Come and visit us and give us your input too! Check this page and explore the topics.

Roomba, I Command Thee: Use Raspberry Pi for Voice Control

Take advantage of these open source resources to set up voice control with Raspberry Pi and bark orders at your home appliances.

Read more on MAKE

The post Roomba, I Command Thee: Use Raspberry Pi for Voice Control appeared first on Make: DIY Projects, How-Tos, Electronics, Crafts and Ideas for Makers.

New Project: Make an Apple Watch Door Unlocker

Use an Apple Watch to automagically open doors at home or at work with a tap on your wrist.

Read more on MAKE

The post Make an Apple Watch Door Unlocker appeared first on Make: DIY Projects, How-Tos, Electronics, Crafts and Ideas for Makers.