Thursday, September 17, 2015

How to add intelligence to our homes? - Part 2

This is the long overdue update of the house project conceptualized a while back with my kids.  In this project, a model house was wired for simple lighting using LED's.
The USB home
Each part or room in the model house will be lit by a dedicated LED and each LED will be directly connected to the pins of the microcontroller, in this case, the Arduino Uno.
The Arduino Uno wired using a recycled IDE cable

The Arduino being wired
The Arduino will act as a hardware controller/driver to power up the LED's but commands will come from a PC.  This whole architecture can be ported to a real, full sized house and control is not limited to lighting only but for the purposes of demonstration, the model house should be sufficient to illustrate.
The GUI in a Windows PC

The GUI showing the check boxes and sliders as control inputs

The model home is connected to the PC via the USB port.  The Uno will function as a slave unit with the PC as the master.  If a user clicks on the GUI, the corresponding LED will light up (or toggle off) in the actual model home.  This therefore illustrates how a real USB controlled home can be made possible.