Our take on home automation at Arctic IoT Challenge 2016. 🤖
It is this time of the year when you look back at all the things that happened this year, and, it is also a period when you can make some plans for the next year. This is a post about one of the things we did this year.
Imagine this – it is February, huge snowflakes floating slowly through the air, you are (almost) snowed in in a warm, cosy hotel among the snow-covered pine trees above the Oslo, looking down at the Holmenkollen ski jump. Fantastic Scandinavian winter tale. Can it get any better than that? Well, it can. At least for some of us. Just add three full days of geekiness and pure nerdvana with sensors, wireless door locks, drones, and robot arms. Put that all together and you get an Arctic IoT Challenge (ARIoT, http://ariot.no) that Team Computas was a part of this February.
ARIoT is a three-day hybrid of a hackathon and a conference. At ARIoT, every team comes with their own project and works on anything that is IoT related, Thursday to Saturday. When it comes to the project, it could be something that you work with, something that you are putting together on your spare time, or even something that you just come up while brainstorming with your team. The way you compete at ARIoT is that you collect points from the jury. After that, top teams will go further to the next round where all the participants can vote for one of the projects. The winner is decided by popular vote.
Team Computas decided to address the eternal dream of many tech-savvy people out there – automating their homes and getting even closer to a smart home. Armed with Raspberry Pis, Arduinos, Netduinos, sensors, LEDs, flying drones and some small track equipped vehicles we set off on to the journey of full home automation. We even created apps unlocking your doors, and another one controlling our devices. We also worked on a prototype for a smart mirror, drones patrolling the perimeter, ultrasonic sensors to show the WC occupancy and many other interesting solutions.
All that hard work paid off, and our team was among the leaders from the beginning. By the end of the first part of the competition we were on the first place – winning the jury’s vote. We did not make it all the way to the top in the voting (second) part. The winning team project is helping to take care of patients in hospitals and senior care homes. A well-deserved win!
The good part of this conference/hackathon/competition, apart from all the fun, is that we got time to work on some things that we were planning to work on for some time, and that we got to play with some technologies that we haven’t been that familiar with, and all in all got to see things from another angle.
For instance, we got more time to play around with beacons, resulting in indoor map solution Khiem-Kiem and I developed for JavaZone later this year. We even gave a talk about how we did that at JavaZone 2016: https://vimeo.com/181781917.
ARIoT also encouraged cooperation between teams, thus making sure that all teams learned something new from each other.
Looking back at all that now, we can see another positive side of our participation – we got familiar with technologies and solutions that we were able to apply in other projects, both at work and in our hobby projects.
We are looking forward to the next year and to the funny, crazy, techy and creative projects and solutions to everyday problems from all the teams. See you at ARIoT 2017 in March?
Axel, Hampus, Jørn Are, Khiem-Kim, and Rustam