Model House Models House, Vice-Versa

[Eric Tsai] is on a home-automation rampage. Not content with the usual smartphone-based GUIs, [Eric] built a cardboard model house that models his house. Open the garage door, and the model house’s garage door opens. Open the real front door, and a tiny servo motor opens the cardboard front door.

The model house also comes with a power meter that represents his current power usage, which is certainly useful for figuring out if something electronic has gone grossly wrong. You should watch the video (found after the break) all the way through, here’s the spot where he turns on an electric leaf blower. Despite a little big of lag that’s pretty cool!

But the system doesn’t stop there. Since he can control the garage door and some lights remotely via WiFi, the next logical step is to add a couple of buttons so that the model house can control the real house.

We’ve covered [Eric]’s home before. He set up simple, Arduino-based sensor packages all around his house, connected them together through the pub/sub framework MQTT and added in the open-source OpenHAB software interface. The door sensors connect to a hacked Wink hub. From whether or not his dog is barking to whether his laundry is done, [Eric]’s system knows it all.

We can’t wait until the cardboard house catches up with all of [Eric]’s home automation capabilities. A small cardboard dog with a piezo speaker that barks? Yes, please. In all seriousness, this is a cool idea and we think [Eric] has just scratched the surface.

And of course, he’ll need something to monitor the cardboard house’s status. We suggest a yet smaller cardboard house to put inside the cardboard house.  What features would you integrate into your own physical home automation controller?

8 thoughts on “Model House Models House, Vice-Versa

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