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2015/03/02

Home automation with a Raspberry Pi

Daniel Treviño

System Developer

Nowadays technology advances really fast, everyday there are different gadgets available at the world market or new technology that is created and can be used by any type of people without any technology experience. It is really important to give a nice try and use to all this new technology that is provided by innovating new projects or ideas because by doing this, it will be really grateful to get excellent results. 

The Raspberry Pi (RPi) is a low cost, credit-sized computer that plugs into a computer monitor or TV, and it uses a standard keyboard and mouse. It is a capable little device that enables people of all ages to explore computing, and to learn how to program in programming languages such as Scratch and Python. It’s capable of doing everything you would expect a desktop computer to do, from browsing the internet and playing high- definition video, to making spreadsheets, word-processing and even playing games.

Raspberry Pi

The excellent thing with a RPi is that is able to interact with the outside world, it has being used in a wide array of digital maker projects from music machines, home automation systems, weather stations and other things. One of the goals that this device has is to create interest on the new generations of kids into the computing science and being able to innovate new projects by understanding the way that computers work.

It is posible to create a Web-based Home Automation System with a RPi and being able to control it by using you smartphone or tablet. The RPi provides all the tools needed to make this possible by setting it up as a server and accessing it with your smart device. One of the advantages that this device provides is that is works with only 5V of energy, making it really cheap by optimizing the energy used. Home Automation Systems can provide different features, the most popular are:

  • Light Control
  • Security Systems
  • Garage control
  • Air Conditioner

The following image shows a network diagram on how a Home Automation System could be set up using a RPi.

Network Diagram RPi

 The Raspberry Pi has several pins that are the ones used to interact with external devices with the help of a breadboard. The card is turned into a server by installing “Flask” (a Web framework) and running a python script that will be the one that creates the communication between the hardware and software. To get deeper on this Automation Project, I recommend the following book: “Matt Richardson & Shawn Wallace, Getting Started with Raspberry Pi” where you will find several tutorials and basic projects in order to get involved with the RPi. 

 

 

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