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Poor Man's Home Automation

Automating everything in a room for less than $50.

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I have almost no money to spend on random things like home automation supplies, since I'm only in middle school. A report I wrote at school about IBM's Watson supercomputer a year ago inspired me to make a speech-recognition program with the same name that could do stuff like check my email and tell me what the weather was (because, of course, anything that leverages APIs in any way must be able to check the weather ;) ). I then found a servo I had in my drawer (that had expanded to a whole cabinet) of electronics stuff and duct taped it to one of those dimmer extension cords that goes in between a lamp and the socket- and that was the start of a room's worth of kludgy hardware. I'm still working on new things, too!

tl;dr: I'm broke since I'm still in middle school. I'm making a bunch of (the hackiest imaginable) software and hardware to automate stuff in my room.

(Hackaday judges, a version of my video that is under two minutes long is available here and in the link list. The version above is, obviously, not under two minutes.)

(All code in this project is free for anyone to do anything with, as long as they credit me.)

Watson can do all sorts of things. I think I've covered most of the points with my system design:

As shown, Watson is pretty much whatever I have laying around, connected to my computer, and the Internet. Some things that may not be obvious:

1. I used the audio jack to provide the signal for the servo, like in this HaD article:

http://hackaday.com/2012/08/14/robot-servo-control-using-smartphone-audio-jack/

2. The phone app I made connects to a Windows Azure VM with WebSockets and sends a request. Then, the Azure server bounces that request off to my laptop. I had to do it this way because we don't have a static IP, and my computer is behind a firewall.

And, of course, this is a mess, but it's required for entry into the Hackaday Prize. I will have a full list of what Watson does at a later date. (Edit: The list of stuff Watson can do is now down there, so go check it out!)

My project can look pretty devoid of updates, but I'm doing quite a lot on my GitHub repo. Check it out!

For a full list of Watson's features, click here.

If you find anything is unclear, please leave a comment and I'll try to fix it!

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    Step 1

    Instructions for individual parts of the project are/will be available in my GitHub repo.

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Discussions

Daniel Sun wrote 09/07/2014 at 16:46 point
Nothing more important than safty

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jlbrian7 wrote 08/05/2014 at 23:32 point
Your link list seems to be organized the same as the "system design" which I really enjoy, but could you at least post the link in your project log.

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Milkey Mouse wrote 08/05/2014 at 23:36 point
What do you mean? Like put all of the links in a project log?

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jlbrian7 wrote 08/05/2014 at 23:38 point
What ever would make it easier to understand what it is you are trying to tell me.

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Milkey Mouse wrote 08/08/2014 at 01:35 point
OH I get what you mean. I'll be right on it.

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jlbrian7 wrote 08/08/2014 at 09:13 point
That makes it alot easier to follow along with what you are doing.

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zakqwy wrote 07/28/2014 at 12:20 point
I'm stoked that we live in an age that a middle schooler has a GitHub repository. I like how you used the servo for dimmer control; keeps the HV side safe and isolated in an unmodified factory enclosure while giving you the control you need. Keep up the good work!

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Milkey Mouse wrote 07/28/2014 at 13:33 point
Lol, my mom made a rule that wherever my electronics ventures go, I can't directly access/convert wall current. That's the main reason for all of the USB adapters.

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davedarko wrote 07/27/2014 at 08:10 point
The RC car reminds me of the door lock on amazing spider-man :)

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Milkey Mouse wrote 07/27/2014 at 17:25 point
lol

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