Google Talk bot running on Raspberry Pi

google-talk-raspberry-pi

[Michael Mitchell] put together a demonstration of how Google Talk can be used to communicate with scripts. Although the concept isn’t new we haven’t seen very many projects that use the chat interface for issuing commands and receiving data. The one that does come to mind is this home automation project which uses Google Talk because it’s quite a bit faster than SMS or email communications.

Luckily there’s already a Python library called pygtalkrobot which helps with the XMPPPY protocol used by Google Talk. In addition to that package, [Michael] also installs some extras which allow him to access the GPIO pins on the RPi via Python. In the video after the break he demonstrates switching and LED on and off, as well as reading from a slide switch connected to pin 8. Of course it’s a snap to code feedback from the OS itself. As you can see in the image above the RPi is reporting it’s uptime after being issued a command by [Michael]

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Google Talk used for home automation communications via Android

home-automation-using-instant-messaging

To call [Carnivore's] home automation project impressive would be an understatement. He’s pulled together a system that is fast, well presented, and easy to use. To interface with items in his home he’s using X10 modules, and this example simply switches some table lamps. But the underlying setup seems incredibly polished and should be a snap to extend for just about any purpose.

The guide linked above has all the gritty details, but the best overview is provided in the video after the break. [Carnivore] shows off the Windows 8 machine that acts as the server. It has am X10 transceiver connected to communicate with the appliances. He can control the system from the screen seen above, but everything can also be accessed from his Android phone. Communication between the two is handled by Google Talk, an instant messaging application — but the commands are home screen shortcuts and don’t need to be typed into the Google Talk app. He modified the source code of a program called TweetMyPC to use the Google Talk API¬†which looks for keywords in received messages. The lag on an instant message is far lower compared to SMS or Email so commands are received very close to real-time. Feedback is sent from the server to the phone using a text message.

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Key features cut out of Android API


Google has decided that its initial release of the Android SDK will not include formal Bluetooth support or Google Talk. Bluetooth headsets will still work, but developers will not have access to the Bluetooth portion of the API. Google’s security researchers have announced that Google Talk was left out because of multiple security concerns. Bluetooth, on the other hand, was left out because the development team ran out of time.

Out of these two features, we think users are going to be most disappointed by the omission of Google Talk. Chatting has become one of the most useful features of new smart phones. The ability to just chat instead of sending a text message is one of the main attractions to phones like the iPhone, which has support for AIM.

[photo: dreamside]