Posts Tagged ‘building automation’

Wirelessly Automate Your Home

Sunday, November 14th, 2010

home-automation-via-router.png

I’ve stumbled across this quite simple idea of home automation using Wifi. [Mrx23] combined OpenWRT, a microcontroller, and a set of RF controlled outlet switches to add automation to his plug-in devices. An RF remote that controls the switched outlets has been connected to an Arduino. The router communicates with the Arduino via a serial connection. And the router is controlled by a web interface which means you can use a smartphone or other web device to control the outlets.

The best thing about this system is the power that the router wields. Since it has an underlying Linux kernel you have the option of setting CRON jobs to turn lighting on and off, and group settings can be established to set up a room’s lighting level for watching movies, hosting guests, etc. Combine this with the fact that OpenWRT can use port forwarding for Internet control and the possibilities really start to open up.

Courtesy Mrx23 at Instructables.com

A brief about Smart Home

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

Smart Home is an intelligent and easy-to-use home management system that offers a richer set of home services by allowing appliances to interact with each other seamlessly. Capabilities of appliances are used as “Lego Kits” that can be mixed and matched to provide different home services for security, well-being, energy management and entertainment.

  • Built upon open communication UPnP standards.
  • “Lego Kits” to provide services to the home user.
  • A single user interface to manage appliances and customize home services.

Brief Introduction
The Smart Home project’s objective is to develop a reference implementation of a smart home system. This implementation utilities the Uninersal Plug n Play (UPnP) standard that has been adopted by major consumer electronic (CE) manufacturers as the emerging standard for device interoperability.

UPnP is an open standard (www.upnp.org) and its adoption by the CE industry consortium such as the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) (www.dlna.org) augurs well for the end consumer. Home solutions (devices, system etc) will no longer be stovepipe (proprietary, single brand) in nature, as an open standard will ensure a common playing field and consumers will be free to choose amongst the various brand offerings.

Motivation
The following set of current problems/opportunities form the basis of the motivation underlying this project.

  • Devices are standalone in nature and typically do not communicate with other devices.
  • Due to the above (1), devices cannot cooperate/collaborate to jointly provide a richer set of services to the consumer.
  • Devices are difficult to setup and configure.
  • Even if (3) was made simple, it is difficult to pair devices and provision services.
  • Home networks are becoming more pervasive. Such networks are not just confined to ICT equipments (computers, printers, access point etc). Typical home devices/equipment such as lamps, stereo set, television etc will be part of the home network.

Time delay door alarm

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010

door_alarm_finished.jpg

Have you ever accidentally left your front door ajar and had a pet escape? BlackCow at Homebrew Tech came up with a simple solution to this problem. The circuit is fairly rudimentary but a great example of using the basics to get the job done. Now, instead of having an alarm that sounds as soon as the door is open, he has a 30 second delay. This helps avoid the “boy who cried wolf” effect also known as the “vista security warning” effect of being bothered too many times for a non issue.  We also have to say that we like his taste in blog layouts.

Courtesy of Homebrew Tech via Hacked Gadgets

Nine Predictions for Smart Buildings in 2009

Sunday, February 1st, 2009



1.  Manufacturers of BAS devices will convert many of the devices to DC power, allowing Power-Over-Ethernet (POE) to be used, thus spurring greater penetration of IP protocols in the BAS world. Known as the most under-valued building technology, POE will drive the convergence because of its cost advantage and management functions. Innovators in this arena will be second tier and Asian BAS companies.

2.  Just sensing whether a building space is occupied or not, will no longer suffice. Systems will need to provide real-time information on how many people occupy the space and where they are located. This will just continue the march to real-time sensing of everything that occurs in a building. Next will be the introduction of “sensor dust” which can be added and embedded in wall coatings. Buildings will have so many sensors installed, that facility management tools will become 3-dimensional.

3.  Smart commissioning will render obsolete what we now think of as commissioning, which is typically a one time or periodic event. Commissioning will no longer be something you may do once a year or every couple years, but something done in real time using sophisticated, rules-based software. Generally re-commissioning an existing commercial office building has an average financial payback of 8.5 months, which is very attractive. However, smart commissioning will have a payback period measured in minutes and will become a standard feature of high performance buildings. (more…)