SENSORDROID

Informacio

Description

SENSORDROID is a valorization project which is partially funded by a grant obtained in the competitive call VALUE 2010 (AGAUR/ACC1Ó). The development of this project is undertaken jointly with the Ubiquitous Internet Technologies Unit (UITU).

The project's main objective is to demonstrate the technical and commercial feasibility of a ubiquitous, mobile, automation based and management platform. This platform allows you to interact with your own appliances, both from inside and outside the house. This will be possible for appliances with already some electronic intelligence (eg: TV, refrigerator or air conditioning) as well as for other generic household items (eg: doors or shutters).

The remote control system is based on a commercial mobile device (HTC Hero), which allows you to control different elements of a home through a graphical interface built on an open operating system (Android).The user will install an application on the mobile device using the Android Market, and will then be able to interact with household items from anywhere in the world. This will work through the GPRS/UMTS connection offered by the mobile operator, as well as from home without using the operator’s network. In this case the system would work either through a direct link to the items using ZigBee/802.15.4 technology or through home WiFi network. In order to achieve this communication, the development will be based on technology that has previously been developed in i2CAT, both at node and gateway level, and which allows ZigBee communication and transfer of technology to WiFi or Ethernet, with optimizations for power consumption, capacity multi-hop routing protocol information tailored to the particular network topology and small size.

The user of this system will be able to interact with all those devices that are integrated into the system in real time, allowing not only information (eg open refrigerator alarms, use of a particular plug in the home, etc..) But also act on these items and set up automatic actions (eg, close the curtains if the internal temperature exceeds a threshold, or turn off the lights if the user has left them switched on).

SensorDROID

With the support of the Ministry of Knowledge Economy and the Government of Catalonia (Departament d’Economia i Coneixement de la Generalitat de Catalunya).

Innovation

It is in the field of automation where sensor networks are functionally more attractive to end users. Sensors give us the opportunity to have knowledge and control over small and household appliances. Controlling and interacting with them from anywhere within the home or even from the outside it is indeed a very attractive idea.

Currently, some suppliers offer us the possibility to integrate several appliances from the same type in one only remote control, for example, having access to video, DVD and TV in the same remote control when they all are from the same commercial brand. But even so, we bring up the possibility to get the control of different appliances from different types into one device, so that we can have access to their information and interact with them according to our interests. It is also brought up in this project, the possibility to convert appliances that are already part of our home, into home automated devices fully integrated into this solution. The project's main objective is to develop a universal remote control based on commercial mobile devices, able to integrate both appliances as well as generic elements of our home (doors, shutters, etc..). It will then also be possible to interact with them both while inside and outside the home.

Imagine the scenario of a home where we can have a sensor that tells us at all times the real value of the temperature in the house or a system of sensors that detect the state of the shutters of a room and allows us to interact with them by lowering or bringing them up directly from our mobile phone. The system shows the temperature data and the user decides whether to lower the blinds of the room or not. A household may have different control sensors in place to control appliances, for example, to find out if the refrigerator door is open for more than a certain time.

The project will end with the completion of a pilot which will test the interaction between mobile phones and sensors / actuators. It will be verified that within the system appliances already on the market which have wireless ZigBee (IEEE 802.15.4), as shows ZigBee Alliance, with devices that do not offer this connectivity can be integrated. The latter ones will require a specific hardware component in order to make it possible for the system to interact with them. All devices must be able to communicate properly and share the same data type and format. The project will have a first validation of functionality in a lab environment, checking each of the elements within a controlled surrounding and afterwards there will be a period of testing in a real environment. The i2CAT offices will be used to conduct demonstrations and to validate the functionality of our product.

Benefits

In recent years we have experienced a tremendous growth in the number and type of remote control devices we use in our daily lives. A few years ago the TV infrared remote controls were the only control devices in our homes, but now we run out of fingers if we count all the devices that can be remotely controlled at home: TV, stereo, air conditioning equipment, DVD player, digital camera, Home Cinema, satellite receiver, garage door, alarm, blinds, etc..

Despite the changing needs of remote control, most of these controls are still working with infrared technology, which was created over 30 years ago. And although in recent years new wireless technologies have been tested (eg Wi-Fi, Bluetooth), they have not fully meet the requirements in the field of home automation, because the architectures and protocols of these technologies were not designed to address these needs / applications which were created later.

The emergence of Zigbee protocol (802.15.4 standard based), and more specifically its RF4CE specification published in March 2009 by the Zigbee Alliance (http://www.zigbee.org/About/ OurMission.aspx) has opened the door to a new set of capabilities for remote control applications in the field of home automation. Zigbee is a wireless communications protocol that allows devices to interact with each other in a faster, more reliable and flexible way, without line of sight restrictions as those that appear when using infrared technology, and allowing a greater range of distance.

In addition, bidirectional communication with devices offered by Zigbee protocol to allows developing new interactions with devices, such as:

  • Download information: reading of consumption data, downloading information from the TV programming, status information, etc.
  • Obtain location data
  • Establish direct communication between devices
  • Update device software wirelessly

 

Entity

       

Duration: 
12/2010 to 11/2012
Financing: 
AGAUR
Budget: 
98.600 €