Sensors, Sensors, Sensors...

A project log for Squirco Smart Home System - Sensor Network

Hidden sensors in every light switch

StevenSteven 11/08/2014 at 18:210 Comments

Smart home systems are very analogous to human beings (an invisible butler perhaps?), with the sensors being the..well, senses, the central controller being the brain, and the controls (light switches, heater, etc) controlled for you by a butler.

In order for a home to be smart, the central controller must be able to gather enough information to figure out what's going on. However, it must not be overly complex (too hard to implement, too expensive), or too intrusive (no cameras). The combination of sensors should do just enough to give the controller a rough idea of what's going on to take action, and no more.

Using the "just enough principle", and a little bit of experimentation, the first generation of the Squirco sensors will be able to sense the following:

- Temperature

- Ambient Light

- Presence detection

Obviously, all the sensors in the home have to be tied together in a mesh, therefore the ATMEGA256RFR2 was chosen to be the uC of choice, and the mesh stack is powered by Atmel's own Light Weight Mesh.

Now that the basic hardware framework is settled, the next Project Log will detail the design of the sensor nodes, and how the form factor was settled on in order to solve some very important issues.