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toilet monitor

checks if the office toilet is occupied

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This project grew out of a common source of frustration at our office - we have only three toilets for ~70 employees, and there is frequently contention for this scarce resource. There's nothing worse than patrolling between the three restrooms searching for an open one.

A coworker, [eben], and I started brainstorming how we could solve this issue, and an IoT device seemed the obvious solution. During some booze-infused brainstorming sessions, we came up with the architecture for this, and built it.

Full project details are on GitHub:
https://github.com/russery/toilet_monitor

This is still a work-in-progress, but here's the current featureset:

* An ultrasonic sensor (HC-SR04) is mounted behind the toilet, and can sense the presence of a person, and determine if they are sitting or standing.

* This sensor is periodically monitored by an Electric Imp which determines if the toilet is in use and updates a webpage.

* The setup is powered by a LiPo battery and is USB rechargable. The goal is to have a long enough battery life that it can be recharged no more than once every few months.

Future features:

* Have a second Imp implement a "traffic light" system that can be mounted near the toilet or elsewhere in the office and indicate whether the toilet is occupied or free.

* Make a fancy web interface complete with metrics and infographics, and possibly #slack integration.

* Depending on how low we can get the power usage, we might try to make it solar powered like some of those fancy automatic sinks.

  • SoC Monitor Works!

    Robert Ussery12/28/2015 at 01:39 0 comments

    The SoC monitor (Fuel Gauge board from Sparkfun) using the MAX17043 sensor is now active! Check out the latest over on GitHub.

    This makes the hardware and embedded software of the board mostly functionally complete, even though it's far from refined. Now I'm going to work on refining the web backend and doing something useful with the data!

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