Software apps and online services
This project was part of the Lane Tech HS Physical Computing Lab course. I created this project as part of the Home Automation / IoT project.
This IoT home automation project eliminates the need to go through the troublesome process of having to actually get up and manually adjust your blinds. With the use of a photocell, motor, and a smartphone, you can have full control over your blinds from anywhere.
The creation process was simple as it only involved the assembly of the components along with the mounting of the parts into the blinds.
As for the mounting, some steps were needed to insert the motor into the blinds so that the blinds could be controlled. These steps included getting rid of the twist controller within the blinds as well as cutting out slits for to hold the motor in place and to pass through the wires.
To be able to control the blinds, the motor must be attached to the blind rod to allow it to turn. Given the fact that the motor couldn't have been consumed in the project (ruling out any permanent solutions), I found a workaround involving a short piece of tubing with an inside diameter of about 3/16. Although the tube did not fit at first, some work was required to expand it so that it would fit over the head of servo. Once this was done, all that was left was to attach the tubing to the rod within the blinds so that the servo would be able to rotate it.
From here, the only thing left was to hang up the blinds and mount the rest of the components to the wall.
To add Blynk into the project, you must first create and setup a new project, which you can find out how to do here. As for the button themselves, map:
- V0 to close fully
- V1 to open fully
- V2 to close a bit
- V3 to open a bit
- V4 to enable the photocell control.
A couple features that would improve this project would be:
- A sliding feature to precisely adjust the blinds to the user's desired position
- A smaller motor with higher torque, allowing for a more discreet mounting within the blinds along with an overall easier time turning the rod.
- Use of a custom PCB to eliminate the need for the breadboard and ultimately provide an easier time mounting the project.