2024 Dwelling Candy Dwelling Automation: The Winners Are In

Dwelling automation is big proper now in client electronics, however regardless of the broad availability of merchandise available on the market, hackers and makers are nonetheless spinning up their very own options. It might be as a result of their conditions are distinctive sufficient that industrial choices wouldn’t lower it, or maybe they know the way cheaply many automation duties might be applied with at the moment’s microcontrollers. Nonetheless others go the DIY route as a result of they’re fearful concerning the privateness implications of pushing such a system into the cloud.

Seeing what number of of you have been on the market brewing bespoke automation setups gave us the concept for this 12 months’s Home Sweet Home Automation contest, which simply wrapped up final week. We acquired greater than 80 entries for this one, and the competitors was fierce. Judging these contests is at all times exceptionally troublesome, as practically each entry is a standout accomplishment in its personal means.

However the judges solid forward valiantly, and we now have the highest three initiatives which might be receiving $150 in retailer credit score from the oldsters at DigiKey.

First: SCADA Sensible Dwelling

The judges finally gave the highest spot to this automation project from [stefan.schnitzer], which stands out by being designed across the Supervisory Management and Information Acquisition (SCADA) idea that’s mostly used to manage industrial processes. This multi-level hierarchy separates the bottom degree “subject gadgets” equivalent to environmental sensors and stepper motors for working valves from the higher degree supervisory gadgets, which on this case are Raspberry Pis which host a visually putting HTML person interface that may be accessed from tablets or smartphones.

The documentation for this construct goes again a number of years, and it’s fascinating to learn by means of how completely different gadgets have been introduced onto the system. The interoperability with OctoPrint, permitting the house automation show to indicate variables equivalent to extruder temperature and time remaining, was a very good contact.

Second: 15 Years Of Automation

In an extraordinarily shut second is the awe inspiring automation system constructed up by [Bernard Kerckenaere] over the last 15 years. Whereas the mission wasn’t documented in real-time (to be truthful, Hackaday.io didn’t exist in 2009), [Bernard] does a powerful job of explaining the origins of his system and bringing us up to the mark on how issues have been constructed out through the years.

All of it begins with two kilometers of CAT6 being pulled all through the home, with a complete of 164 particular person runs. Simply 22 of these are used for TCP/IP networking, the remaining 122 are used to hold energy and information to sensors and gadgets everywhere in the home utilizing RS-485. Every 24-port patch panel comprises 4 Arduinos in customized PCBs to behave as intermediates between all the downstream gadgets and the Raspberry Pi which runs the entire present.

By his remaining tally, the system consists of greater than 30 particular person sensors, 8 thermostats, 29 lights, 3 dimmers, 17 wall sockets, 6 blinds, two electronically locked doorways, plus the storage door. Oh, and there’s a centralized audio system that pumps tunes from the media server out to 10 audio system by means of 5 amplifiers. [Bernard] is certainly placing each meter of that CAT6 to good use on this system.

Third: Tablet Dispenser Robotic

In comparison with the large whole-house undertakings that battled it out for the highest two spots, this cute little bot might sound a bit misplaced. However the judges have been all all blown away by the incredible documentation [M. Bindhammer] put together for this mission to assist with their treatment schedule.

Technically talking, simply the robotic’s central rotary mechanism may have gotten the job finished. However the hope is that this extra anthropomorphic dispenser, full with an OLED show for a face and a speech synthesis module, could make a day by day treatment routine slightly extra nice. There’s a transparent software right here for aged sufferers who could require extra frequent reminders about when and why they should take their medication.

Honorable Mentions

As traditional, we had a couple of particular classes for this contest. Along with their base numerical score, the judges have been instructed to maintain an eye fixed out for initiatives they felt finest exemplified the spirit of every one.

Creature Comforts: Sensible Condominium Air flow

Consolation is vital in making the place you reside really really feel like residence, so the Smart Apartment Ventilation system from [Nik Reitmann] was an ideal selection for this class.

Whereas he did have the power to manually management the air flow system in his residence, [Nik] wished to automate it so it could usher in contemporary air within the mornings and evenings as a mater of routine, and likewise kick on anytime the temperature began to get too excessive indoors. However being an residence, he couldn’t precisely rip out the outdated system — no matter he did needed to be detachable and make no everlasting modifications to the built-in system.

By reverse engineering the air flow controller’s entrance panel, he was in a position to sneak an ESP8266 into the combination and take management of the system as if the buttons have been being pressed bodily. He was even in a position to pull energy from the wall mounted panel, so there’s no addition wiring wanted. With the brand new electronics housed in a 3D printed enclosure that surrounds the unique unit, it makes for an exceptionally clear set up.

Effectivity: Water Heater Automation

As a consequence of an unstable native electrical infrastructure, [Rogan Dawes] was trying to maximize the effectiveness of his residence photo voltaic system. Noting that one of many largest power drains was the water heater, the objective of this mission was to automate the unit so it could alter the goal temperature of the water relying on the present energy scenario. For instance, if the grid is functioning and there’s ample energy, the water heater might be set to its most temperature. But when the home is operating on battery energy, the temperature might be lowered to preserve power.

By way of {hardware}, [Rogan] is utilizing a Sonoff THR320 to manage the resistive factor within the heater, and an ATTiny85 to learn the present temperature through a thermistor. The standing of the house’s electrical system was already being monitored by means of the inverter, so all that was left to do was pull all the pieces collectively inside Dwelling Assistant.

Rube Goldberg: Palms Free Chess Clock

Whereas there’s one thing to be stated for holding issues easy, it’s no secret that we’re huge followers of the convoluted right here at Hackaday. If there’s a extra complicated method to do one thing, we’re all about it. This automatic chess clock from [Mykolas Juraitis] is a very high-quality instance. Not everybody wants a CUDA-enabled chess clock operating on a NVIDIA Jetson Orin Nano, however in case you’re the type of one that takes their recreation severely, you’ll actually respect its options.

The speedy single-board pc, particularly designed for machine studying purposes, powers each voice and picture recognition software program. You may function the clock utilizing pretty complicated voice instructions, and due to OpenCV, it’s in a position to observe the method of the sport and run it by means of a chess engine to find out who’s at present profitable.

All The Information: Cellular Dwelling Energy Monitoring

With power prices on the rise, it’s turning into extra necessary than ever to maintain an in depth eye on your property’s utilization. However what if your property isn’t tied down to at least one spot, and there’s no everlasting grid wiring to faucet into?

That was the distinctive scenario that [Tom Goff] needed to face when his father-in-law requested him if there was a means he may see how much energy his RV was using when plugged in on the camp web site. This known as for a system that might be simply eliminated and put in, was sturdy sufficient to deal with life on the highway, and naturally, able to safely dealing with 230 VAC.

The ensuing system does the heavy lifting with an ESP32 and a PZEM-004T electrical power monitor module, with an OLED show to indicate info on the entrance panel. However the actual killer characteristic right here is the Bluetooth connection, which is tied to a smartphone software. This lets the person test their present power consumption with out having to go bodily have a look at the field.

Whereas it was designed for RVs and cell houses, it’s not arduous to see how the electronics might be used to watch the power utilization again at residence. You wouldn’t technically want the heavy responsibility enclosure in that case, however it does make the set up look that rather more skilled.

Retrofit: Sensible Underfloor Heating Controller

Lastly, we’ve the Smart Underfloor Heating Controller from [Red Tuka]. This impressively engineered improve provides distant management capabilities to an current heat water heating system by working the dozen valves which direct water all through the home.

That is achieved with twelve MOSFETS, that are in flip related to the board’s ESP8266 through a MCP23017 I2C I/O expander. As well as, for every valve there’s additionally a DS18B20 temperature sensor that connects up alongside the right-hand aspect of the board. Whereas there’s quite a bit occurring on this one PCB, [Red] did a superb job of holding all of it orderly, and we particularly just like the standing LEDs for the valve MOSFETS.

New Yr, New Challenges

Didn’t get time to enter this contest? Is residence automation not your factor? No worries — that is simply the primary of many contests we’ll be operating in 2024. We promise there might be loads of alternatives to get some free components out of the high-quality of us at DigiKey over the 12 months is over.

Keep tuned to Hackaday for the announcement of our subsequent contest shortly.