HW 5 - Wireless Communication

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Complete this assignment in your project groups.

Build a wireless home automation system that allows you to 1) monitor a sensor reading of interest remotely on your phone or tablet; 2) gives you control to remotely affect the environment through some form of actuation. You can keep this simple - the focus is on understanding the WiFi / Bluetooth technologies, not the particular application.

Use either the CC3000 WiFi module and a Web Socket server; or use the BLE112 Bluetooth board if you have a smartphone or tablet that support BLE in your group. You should show real-time sensor data (think web sockets, without manual page refresh; or BLE notify) and use at least one actuator (solenoid, servo motor, dc motor, vibration motor, ...).


Examples of what you might build include:

  • Phone-based garage door opener and garage light indicator (use a solenoid to push the garage door button; sense light with a photo cell)
  • Remote cat feeder: put a load cell or FSR underneath the food dish; build a dispensing mechanism that releases food from a storage container with a servo motor. Also, fish feeder, remote cat toy, etc etc.
  • Plant watering machine that opens a water valve and measures soil moisture
  • Alarm system that shows the status of multiple magnetic reed switches, and notifies you of intrusions, rings a physical bell with a solenoid, etc.
  • Smart light bulb e.g., Lifx

Grading Guidelines

Criterion Great solution
Acceptable solution
Poor solution
Communication (7pts): Did you demonstrate successful bi-directional communication between your device and a mobile device with supplied code and a short video? Yes Only one direction or missing code/demo No, not shown or implemented
Use of Actuator (3pts): Did you use one of the listed actuators in your final home monitoring system? Yes Only LED or other intangible output No output at all
Implementation and Polish (2pts): Does your home monitoring system work? Will it work reliably? Solid, clean implementation Working, but precarious implementation; messy construction Does not work
Documentation (3pts): Did you clearly explain and demonstrate the final working design in your writeup with text, images where needed, a demo video, and written reflection on the assignment? Yes, clear documentation Limited documentation Key missing pieces (video, writeup)

Turn in instructions

Create a Wiki Page for this assignment

Begin by creating a new wiki page for this assignment, for example by modifying a user page to add a link to a new wiki page for this assignment. The wiki syntax should look like this:

[[Homework5-GroupName|Homework 5]]

Replace GroupName with your project group's name. Then click on the link and enter the information about your assignment. You should upload the files described below and describe any extra functionality you implemented and want us to review.

(Your teammate should also add the link to their page).

Write up your project on this wiki

On the Homework5-GroupName page you just created, include:

  • Write 1-3 paragraphs about your home monitoring system implementation. Motivate why you chose a particular implementation path.
  • Include images (How to include images).
  • Record a narrated video that describes all important aspects of your home monitoring system. (How to include video)
  • Reflection: what you learned from this assignment (also let us know if this was too easy or too hard)
  • Code: Link to github or some other repository; alternatively: a zip file with your project code.

One you are finished editing the page, add a link to it at the bottom of the page with your full name as the link text. The wiki syntax will look like this: *[[Homework5-GroupName|GroupName]].

Links to Finished Assignments