Showing posts from August, 2013

FYP: I love Make Magazine

I follow Make: Magazine, and they released a video yesterday demonstrating how to create an RGB LED controller using an Arduino & Android device. This is pretty useful to me as I can use half of this tutorial to control the RGB LED strip I have.

Although at this point I feel like most of the research and development had already been done, and kinda feel like there's not really much for me to do besides. Like I explained in my previous post about LightwaveRF I feel like that the majority of what I aim to do has already been implemented, albeit in a proprietary, blackbox way. I kind of need to change my idea, or at least implement it in a way that hasn't been implemented before.

FYP: LightwaveRF, a similar modular smarthouse

After explaining my project to my cousin, she brought to my attention an article in the Metro about this. While the article was pretty broad and didn't really go into specifics, it referenced something called LightwaveRF. After looking on their website I found it's uncannily similar to what I intend to do. Looking specifically at their 'day in the life' page they've done almost exactly what I intend to, and implemented it extremely well.

Upon further reading it seems that they've implemented the technology extremely well, however their general business model seems a bit far from what I see mine to be. All their components seem proprietary, meaning that you must buy it from them - which is not cheap. While you can buy individual components, it seems that you need to get the system installed by an approved installer. I tried calling them to ask some questions, but their offices aren't open on Saturdays; I'll try again on Tuesday.

My project aims to be as …

FYP: The Birth of Acorn, the webapp

I've developed a little webapp that demonstrates the way this controller works.

Screen one shows an overview of the web version of the controller. On the left is the form that allows the user to modify the existing values. All this is generated on the fly based on existing data in the database. The database table has an 'attribute' value that determines if the form produces a slider, button, colour picker and others for that value.

On the right is a JSON array produced from the database. The script that generates these results pulls data from the server every half second. Using the colour picker I've changed the colour value, but NOT submitted the form.

Screen two shows what happens when I've submitted the form. Using AJAX the data is pushed to the server, and the user gets visual feedback of this by the left pane whiting out and a loading circle appearing.

Screen three shows what happens after the data's been pushed. The right pane has also now updated to ref…

FYP: Working out Modules

Here's a little list of how I expect some of the modules to work:
Master controller: Phone/Webapp -> PHP POST -> SQLdb entry

Master receiver: Network capable Arduino/Pi sends several requests to the web DB per second.  

Lights RGB bulb/strip along ceiling/wall join 4 pin input -> Arduino -> Wireless transimtter  (RasPI?/Wifi Sheild) -> Phone Sound Servo hooked up to volume knob 4 pin input -> Arduino -> Wireless transimtter  (RasPI?/Wifi Sheild) -> Phone Food Fridge Weight sensors under products to detect quantity and presence. Notification  when supplies are runing low

FYP: Playing with Arduino

So I've been having a play with the technology I need to make this work. Using an Arduino, servo & potentiometer I devised a digital controller for my amplifier. Using the input from the potentiometer mapped to the output of the servo I can control my amp volume. The theory involved in this is a proof of concept - if I can prove I can control volume this way, then it's a stepping stone towards controlling it remotely.

FYP: The idea

So, this is the first post in my blog for a very long time - mostly because I just finished placement, and now have the motivation and developed the work ethic to do this. It's a bit of a canvas for my final year project idea that I've been researching and developing slowly over the past few months. I now have a relatively solid idea.

So the gist of it is effectively a smarthouse with easy-to-develop, upgradable modules. The user will begin by interacting with a webapp, or an app on a smartphone. The user will be prompted my a control panel of sorts. Using the intuitive knobs and sliders they can change values for volume, light levels and even turn devices on and off. The way this works is by taking the values, once submitted, and pushing them to a web-based database. The central controller for the smarthouse (powered by a Raspberry Pi) has a script running that pulls data from the database every half second. It then pushes these values via serial to an Arduino. The Arduino th…