This project consists of building a system for controlling two of our office's air conditioner units via Slack (the team communication tool we use). For the hardware part, I used a ESP8266, along with IR LEDs for emitting the appropriate IR signals. For the software part, I experimented with Clojure. See the complete blog post for more info!
Having little knowledge about how both the ESP8266 and infrared (IR) work, the first step I took was to build a hacky development board for playing around. The pinout for the ESP model I have is not protoboard-friendly, so I ended up putting together a perfboard I could use to develop and test. This is the "Prototype #1" below. You can see the ESP board in the lower left, as well as the IR LED in the upper left. In the front, the black boxy component is a IR receiver, which I used both for debugging and copying the IR signals I wanted to reproduce. In the back, between the ESP and the IR receiver, there's a 5V to 3.3V converter -- the ESP runs on 3.3V. For programming I used a standard FTDI cable connected to the Tx/Rx pins on the ESP.