Home Automation!… Take 2

A few years ago in high school, when I was just learning how to use electronics I started a project to autonomously open my blinds in the morning and close them at night. I was a novice to electronics and figured this was a great project to gain some experience. My first iteration used servos that turn the blind mechanism from inside the housing of the venetian blinds. It used a light sensor to tell it when to open and when to close.

This version did not give me the amount of control that I wanted over my blinds. So…I set off to build a wifi enabled system to give me the ability to open and close it whenever I please. This version used a Raspberry Pi connected to an arduino to give it its wifi connectivity. That was a rediculously fortuitous system with a $25 arduino and a $35 Raspberry Pi and some $2 servos. That system was rediculous, but somehow I still managed to do it for a smaller cost than any kickstarter project out there.

Skip Forward a few years later….

I am now a college student of the University of Michigan – Dearborn College of Engineering with a bit of experience behind me in hacking stuff together (I am not by any means an expert…yet). My goal was to build the same system for less than $15, magnitudes lower than any commercial product out there and sell it as a Universal Kit to be installed in anyone’s home.

I could say my motivation for this project is to:

  • Help the elderly/disabled open and shut blinds easily and hassle free
  • Make hard to reach windows easily closeable
  • Add security to a home with forgetful residents (close the blinds while they are on vacation)

Those are all good reasons to make this project, but I’ll be honest with you I just like building stuff. Specifically, I like to put motors on things that don’t normally have motors on them . I’ve been working on this project for years with my best friend and hopefully I am going to get to show you guys my fifth and final version!

Also, I have a bunch of other home automation projects worth sharing… Follow Me if you’re interested!


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