Controlling a cute Ikea night light with Android on the cheap

When [trandi]‘s wife saw a cute night light at Ikea, she had to have it. She actually bought several of these for when her husband would inevitably crack one open and start tinkering with the microcontroller inside. The inevitable hack is pretty cool, and also gives us some ideas for interfacing with Android on the cheap.

The build started as an Ikea Spoka night light, an adorable anthropomorphized night light with a squishy silicone skin. Inside the Spoka are a dozen tri-color LEDs that [trandi] can cycle through with the push of a button. After deciding to control the lights inside the Spoka with an Android phone he reached for an IOIO Android breakout board. Fate intervened and [trandi] ended up with a ridiculously cheap Bluetooth modules that provides a simple serial connection to other Bluetooth devices.

The build reuses the blue, red, orange LEDs in the night light but replaces the no-name 8-pin micro with an ATtiny2313. [Trandi] wrote a small Android app to control the color over a Bluetooth serial connection. Check out his demo after the break.

Comments

  1. steve says:

    Waste that power! Burn the damn oil! Leave nothing behind!

  2. Andy says:

    I have used the same bluetooth modules but with a backplane and they just simply rock. Plug em in, pair up from any bluetooth enabled device and you are able to send commands in less than 2 mins. Easiest way for Android/iPhone/Whatever to communicate with your creations!

  3. sc0rch3d says:

    my first thought was to use this in conjunction with ICS and Light Flow to get notifications around your house.

  4. Zee says:

    IOIO is “on the cheap”?

  5. Ben Foote says:

    Anyone know where to get a datasheet for the bluetooth module? I didn’t see one on the linked site, and couldn’t find one on Google.

    These may be the perfect solution to a problem I invented…

    Thanks guys!

  6. engineersteve says:

    @Ben Foote

    I’m pretty sure it’s the same as this one:

    http://www.dealextreme.com/p/wireless-bluetooth-rs232-ttl-transceiver-module-80711

    Which has a forum page here, the datasheet is in the forum somewhere, I’ve found it before:

    http://club.dealextreme.com/forums/Forums.dx/Forum.80711

  7. InCoBra says:

    Nice, i’ve done something similar, but haven’t had the time to finish it. Mine is currently controlled via UART. But I had the same idea. But yours looks great!

  8. Robot says:

    Nice work.

    Does anyone have some insight into the “garbled characters” issue between the Android phone and BT transceiver that the hacker mentions?

    – Robot

  9. Ben Foote says:

    @engineersteve

    Thanks for the hint.

    I found the datasheethere.

    And the command set here.

    Very interesting little device…

  10. Chris says:

    My daughter uses one of these as a night light. Lately, she likes to stick her fingers into the DC jack “bum” and feed me whatever it is she thinks is in there. She’s only 18 months, so she has no idea how hilarious it is.

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