Wednesday, September 10, 2014

ArduIMU-based Home Automation System

© Paul White 2014
For our Final Year Design Project (Capstone project), my team and I designed and implemented a framework for remote automated environmental monitoring and control. We implemented our framework in a simple home automation system based off a wireless network of peripherals. The peripherals are based on early prototypes of the upcoming ArduIMU v4 ( It should be noted that we used stripped-down units with all of the sensors removed; this was done to keep the unit costs low and to make them less time-consuming to assemble.

The network is managed by a PC which acts as a server. The server can receive messages from paired peripherals and also send them commands to do things. From the user’s perspective, we abstracted these messages to triggers and actions.

Users can define Services using the UI. Services allow users to attach one or more actions to a collection of one or more triggers, much like how IFTTT works ( The difference is that we allow combinations (e.g. if the temperature is > 27 degrees Celsius on AND the front door is closed, THEN activate the air conditioner)
Our demonstration system consists of a number of different peripherals including:

1.      Mains relay: A PowerSwitchTail ( is connected to a digital I/O pin of the ArduIMU v4 and can switch 120V A/C applicances on and off.

2.      Switch box: This box contains 3 binary toggle switches and a potentiometer. It demonstrates consuming both digital and analog inputs.

3.      Light Strip: This is an Adafruit light strip. It demonstrates more complicated software running on the ArduIMU v4 and communicating over an SPI bus.

4.      Light box: This light box contains 5 differently colored LEDs that can be turned on and off. One LED can be dimmed too to demonstrate the PWM capabilities of our system and the ArduIMU v4.

5.      Compound peripheral: This peripheral has both inputs and outputs. It attaches to up to 2 PowerSwitchTails, a magnetic reed switch and a piezo buzzer. The user can create an intruder alarm service that consumes the trigger caused by the reed switch opening, and starts the buzzer beeping.

The fully functioning system can be seen in this video:

For those of you with too much time on your hands, check out our final report here.

1 comment:

  1. I was reading about home automation, and it sounds really cool. I really want to try getting a system for my home. It will probably be expensive, but I think that it will be worth all the money.