Automate your home using the powerful Arduino platform.
Home automation is a topic that has been around for many years. It includes everything that you can imagine to control and automate your home. The most widely spread example is the alarm system of your home. Motion sensors, contact sensors, and the central device that orchestrates your alarm system are generally the main components of any home automation system.
There are countless devices that are available for home automation. You can buy complete home automation devices from a lot of stores, and even get them installed in your home. However, many of these systems are very expensive, impossible to be customized for your own needs, and have outdated user interfaces.
On the other hand, we have the Arduino platform. Arduino is a platform that you can use to quickly prototype electronic systems. It is now used by millions of people around the world to build more complex systems. It is actually the perfect platform to build home automation systems. Because of the flexibility of the Arduino platform, we are going to see that it is easy to interface with various sensors and actuators that are usually found in many home automation systems. It can also be interfaced with many wireless systems, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or XBee.
In this book, we are going to see how to build home automation systems with Arduino. We will first build systems based on commercially available Arduino boards. For example, we are going to build a temperature sensor based on Arduino and Bluetooth. We are also going to integrate some of these systems in an Internet of Things perspective, by sending some data directly to a cloud service. Finally, we are also going to see how to hack commercially available devices and build your own home automation systems from scratch.
What this book covers
Chapter 1, Building Wireless XBee Motion Detectors, covers a very common topic in home automation: motion detectors. We are going to build a swarm of motion detectors based on the well-known XBee protocol and Arduino. We are also going to build a server-side interface to monitor the state of the XBee motion detectors.
Chapter 2, Control Lights from Your Phone or Tablet, covers another popular topic in home automation systems: controlling lights remotely. We are going to interface a relay with Arduino and a Wi-Fi chip so that you can control lights in your home not only from your computer, but also from your phone or tablet.
Chapter 3, Measuring the Temperature Using Bluetooth, focuses on measuring temperature and humidity with Arduino, and transmitting the result back to your computer using Bluetooth. We are also going to build a simple interface using Python so that you can access the measurements made by the Arduino and Bluetooth system.
Chapter 4, Weather Station in the Cloud with Xively, teaches you to tackle a very trendy topic: the Internet of Things. We are going to make basic weather measurements on our Arduino board, and then transmit this data via Wi-Fi to the cloud using a service called Xively. Using this service, we'll be able to monitor our data remotely from anywhere in the world.
Chapter 5, Monitor Your Energy Consumption in the Cloud, starts with the use of the same cloud service that was used in Chapter 4, Weather Station in the Cloud with Xively. However, in this case, we are going to send energy consumption data to the cloud. This way, you will be able to monitor data directly from the Xively interface.
Chapter 6, Hack a Commercial Home Automation Device, explores the idea of doing things differently. Instead of creating a new home automation system based on Arduino, we are going to hack an existing device so that you can control it from your computer. We are going to build a USB-controlled power switch, so you can control any device right from an interface running on your computer.
Chapter 7, Build Your Own Home Automation System, goes one step further and shows you how to build your own home automation system based on Arduino. We'll cover how to build an Arduino system from scratch, how to design your own PCB, and finally how to design and 3D print a custom case for your project.
Author: Marco Schwartz
Arduino Home Automation Projects
- Product Code: Arduino
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