Thursday, January 01, 2015

An ard coming we ad and an arder going

In mid-December, I was talking with a friend about getting a Pi and an Arduino. She had been thinking about doing the same (a Pi at least), and found herself asking what she would do with it. I had had the same thought, and it occurred to me to think less about the end result and more about the process. It's fun to knock bits of circuitry together and to program at a bit-twiddly level, or for that matter to write programs from the hip without the considerations of reliability and scalability that I have to bring to my professional work.

Having said that, I pretty quickly came up with a list of ten or so things I'd like to do, from my own ideas or inspired by things I read on the web, for either the Pi or the Arduino:
  • Play with RISCOS. See if !Draw is as good as I remember it to be.
  • Garage door opener. More exactly, something which will close the door after some length of time, in case I go away and forget. Ideally with remote monitoring.
  • Remove monitoring for door locks. The house alarm will go off if they are open, but it can't detect if they are locked.
  • Household web/media/backup server.
  • Temperature monitor, air quality monitor. More generally, a sensor board that I could carry around with me and upload data later on.
  • Household power consumption tracking.
  • Simple remote communication using off the shelf LEDs based on Dietz's ideas (
  • Remote lighting control, so I don't have to get up from my desk to turn on the light.
  • Scanner replacement by hooking up a camera over USB. Recognize when a page has been placed under it, and take and correct an image automatically.
  • Remote or timed dog feeder.
  • Oscilloscope. Low frequency, but maybe better than the one I built using an Android phone.
The first thing I am working on is the sensor platform. More on this soon.

No comments: