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Hardware Hacking Linux Build Hardware

Home Automation Kit Includes Arduino, RasPi Dev Boards 49

DeviceGuru writes "WigWag has developed a home automation kit that combines a Linux-based 6LoWPAN router with sensor units running the open-source Contiki IoT (Internet of Things) OS. Users can add ZigBee, Bluetooth, and other modules to expand the home network, and the WigWam development kit provides shield development boards for use with Arduino and Raspberry Pi SBCs. Users control the devices with a smartphone app (initially Android-based) and associated WigWag cloud service, which lets the devices remotely respond to sensor-based events such as motion detection, rain, noise, etc. Developers can create rules-based scripts for controlling devices using WigWag's open-source Javascript-based DeviceJS development environment. WigWag used a Kickstarter page to fund production and has already tripled its goal."
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Home Automation Kit Includes Arduino, RasPi Dev Boards

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  • by gclef ( 96311 ) on Friday July 19, 2013 @06:31PM (#44333213)

    While I find the idea interesting, I'm annoyed at the fact that it's useless without WigWam's cloud service. I've been burned too many times already, so I'm not particularly willing to build a complex home automation setup just to have the whole thing turned to a set of bricks because WigWam got bought by Yahoo (who seem to shut down every startup they buy), or just ran out of money.

    • by tftp ( 111690 )

      Home automation costs are 99% in sensors and controlled equipment (switches, motors, annunciators, etc.) The cost of the control system is the remaining 1%. You would be better off just buying the best one on the market. Homeseer is pretty good, and it costs about $250. That's the cost of about 5 to 7 wall switches. There is no need to add failure points into the system by using a cloud. HS3 runs also on Linux, by the way.

      • I do not really see WigWam as being a product built to compete with current off the shelf products. As evidenced by their release of the Arduino and RasPi Dev kits, It is really geared for tinkerers interested in the engineering of automation systems not just the building of a single automated home. They are providing a system with two completely open operating systems, hackable hardware, and the scalability and versatility of IP. This allows you to develop completely unique automated systems that would be

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Below for Advanced Users, Developers and Makers:

      Advanced users have the option of running DeviceJS 'raw'... meaning with out WigWag cloud support at all. This means an Internet connection would not be required as long as services are local. However, the WigWag app and web site will not work. This option may be good for some makers and developers making very specialized systems.

      I guess it takes someone really interested to read the faq where this question is directly addressed...

      • "Advanced users have the option of running DeviceJS 'raw'... meaning with out WigWag cloud support at all."

        But this brings up another question: who wants to use DeviceJS at all?

        Who in their right minds builds an end-user scripting system around JavaScript? How WEIRD. JavaScript was written by techies, for techies, for a specific problem domain. It is about the worst choice imaginable for a home-user programming system.

    • "I'm annoyed at the fact that it's useless without WigWam's cloud service."

      I'm not just annoyed... I'm not even remotely interested in buying. Too many "What If" scenarios.

      What if somebody sniffed your control commands? Maybe they know you're not home and can safely burglarize the place.

      Or what if the company is sold to someone who is less than honest? THEY can tell a lot about your activities from your home automation signalling.

      What if your internet goes out? What if...?

      Why anybody would want to tie this to a cloud service is beyond me. I see a "cloud burst" coming,

  • It looks pretty similar to the Ninja Block and Smart Things platforms (both of which have expansion boards for Arduino / Pi).
  • by hklingon ( 109185 ) on Friday July 19, 2013 @07:00PM (#44333409) Homepage

    Thanks, but no thanks. Honeywell (and others) have put a lot of R&D and solid engineering into their sensors (door, window, motion, glass-break, running water, etc) and there are already "convenient" standards like z-wave for home automation.
    Honeywell systems like the L5100 are dead easy install, and very easy. []

    BUT they suffer from this cloud service business. Ulgh? No. Cloud functionality is fine, but not when used for lock in. The honeywell system has a great mobile phone app? But You Must Subscribe to their service at $10-$20/mo. No thanks.

    What I would fund on kickstarter would be some kind of open interface or open firmware for these. Ideally the low level stuff we leave alone, because it works well, and just dress up the front-end. It needs to be open source.

    No need to reinvent the wheel with modules and sensors at this stage. That comes later so we can have free hardware, also.

    Anyone know of any open firmware replacements for anything like the L5100?

  • I have already invested $100s in X10 home automation modules around my house. Back in the day, you could control them with a computer -- but the controller was serial-port based, and some asshole decided to stop putting serial ports into computers. (This also killed my IRMan infrared receiver that I used with Girder to use a remote control to operate my computer. Said $150 aftermarket remote now gathering dust.) So like... Would this do those? :)
    • by Anonymous Coward

      So you spent $100s on X10 modules, but can't spend $10 on a serial card for your PC? I use one for my cm11a-based X10 kit.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I am very grateful for the continually decreasing frequency of stories featuring the oh-gosh-wow futurist notions of vitual reality (wear some stupid helmet or glasses and you can see a 3D representation of whatever the current state of the art of graphics cards can generate for the purpose of....umm something or other) and artificial intelligence (algorithms that simulate or analyse behaviour are NOT intelligent, they are clever and programmed and do nothing more than follow the rules given).

    But the idea t

  • by MrLogic17 ( 233498 ) on Saturday July 20, 2013 @03:38AM (#44335593) Journal

    I like the idea of home automation, but ya, this ain't it. Most solutions I see are either ancient & unreliable, or a complex solution looking for a problem.

    What I want is a bunch of physical components built like an iPhone (clean, simple, just works), connected to a small, smart controller. Like a Raspberry Pi running Scratch. Brains to the system that I don't have to invest days into. Anything requiring "cloud" or subscription is right out.

    Life is short. I have a ton of things I want to do, and don't have time to do. Home automation's got to have a big bang for the buck before I'm jumping in. Save me a ton of time, or save me a bunch of money - every day.

    Types of things that I can't believe aren't dead-simple to plug into a standard home automation system:
    -I want a key fob that unlocks my door. (Kevo would be awsome, but it doesn't exist yet) Have that device notify the main system. Let me then script a "wake up the house" list.
    -I want a "good night" button by my night stand. Turn off all lights, lock all doors, turn off all TV's, radios, etc. Close the garage door. If I have an alarm system, turn that on. If a door or window is open, tell me.
    -I want a super easy, super reliable system to open upstairs windows if the temp outside is better than inside. (Outside is cooler in the summer, outside is warmer in the winter.) Said system should be aware of thunderstorms, or be down-pour proof.
    -Likewise, super easy, super reliable system to controll window shades using the same criteria.
    -When I'm away from home, text me a photo of anyone at the front door. (UPS delivery, etc). But only when the house is in "I'm gone" mode.
    -Interface should be super simple, for spouse acceptance factor, and to handle house-sitters. Ability to turn the "smart house" into a "dumb house" with a lightswitch. Sure, I want the GIU. The wife & kids will need a single button or light switch to do the basics.

    • I don't think this "requires" the cloud. It is offered as a service, but can be run locally. I do think that the cloud will eventually be necessary to really make home automation appealing to the masses. People will need a system where they by their blender, scan the nfc tag or qr code, and immediately get that registered in the cloud system. I do not think that the brains for the day to day automation needs to be in the cloud, but the clould definitely has a role in helping automate parts of peoples lives.

  • I built the QW Home Automation system. [] The system is proprietary but completely free. Currently it supports Insteon devices only. My approach is to solve fundamental problems and build a solid infrastructure and make steady progresses. You can check out the status of my current release on my website. The documentation is pretty comprehensive. In this month, a new version will be released to only allow encrypted communication. The SSL session will be used primarily for commission

If graphics hackers are so smart, why can't they get the bugs out of fresh paint?