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.
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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Roomba has been in our home for some time now. You could even say it a part of the family; it is the liveliest piece of the furniture. We use it for cleaning our apartment and we are pretty happy with it. This cleaning device is a product of iRobot company and the model we have is Roomba 520.
Going around the Internet sites I stumbled upon a nice article about some hardware and software development that includes Roomba - RoombaDecTools. Next thing I dig out was a really nice document that describes technicalities about interfacing Roomba - Roomba Serial Command Interface (SCI) Specification. Everything was clear, a new home project was about to be born 🙂
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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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