Quo Vadis ? Stories from a home laboratory


Elektro Pioneer – remotely controlled motorized baby stroller

Some time ago, a life-changing event influenced the ways I had been organizing my free time. The focus has been moved from the home laboratory towards two young creatures. That was one of the reasons I haven't been much active with my hobby. I haven't fully given up on the small projects, just reduced the time I was spending working on them and publishing the results.

Nevertheless, the parenting can bring different ideas to the mind of an engineer, and what I would like to show in this post is one of those ideas I actually went through materializing. As some of you (parents) might know, the really important item in any house with babies is the stroller. Zillion different types, a lot of time invested in selecting the right one, but eventually the stroller quickly becomes old news.

Elektro Pioneer

Somewhere around that period I got bored with the traditional use of the strollers and decided to try to motorize it and make it remotely controllable. The prototype has been finalized in mid 2013, and in the rest of this post I will describe the whole process.

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Automated irrigation

After successfully monitoring the plants water levels and needs for some period now, it was finally the time to automate the process of watering as well. The idea was to implement a simple drip watering system with one single water source. Each of the three existing plants would be irrigated proportionally, based on its demands. During the period of couple of weeks, all necessary components arrived and the system was ready to be built.

The main part of the system is a water pump. This is a small 300 l/h submergible electric pump. This was good choice because of its low flow and the fact it can be easily put inside the water tank in the corner of the room.

Water pump

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Homy is here

During the last couple of years, I was giving lots of thoughts to a fully automated house. Usually I was amazed by different ideas, usage of diverse technologies and concepts, but never tried to really apply some of these in my apartment. This changed couple of months ago, and after the first home automation project, I already have couple of more ideas.

It all started when I found this device in a shop nearby:

I spent couple of days mounting these guys all around my apartment. At the end, I presented three remote controls to my wife: one for living room, one for administration room and one for our bedroom. She was skeptic at first, but later realized the benefits.

After couple of weeks I couldn't resist from opening one of those remotes 🙂 What I found inside was HS1527 in the heart of the device. Next instinctive step was googgling for HS1527 remote control which led me to one really interesting discussion on JeeLabs webpage. There I discovered the magic device: JeeNode USB (v3):

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