Homer Robot Ensures You Don’t Miss An Episode

Homer Smart Remote

With our busy lives, who has time to pay attention to TV show schedules? [Tamberg] certainly didn’t and that is why he came up with the web-enabled TV remove he calls the Smart Homer. This miraculous device knows when ‘The Simpsons’ is being broadcast, turns on the TV and switches to the appropriate channel.

Like the real Homer, not too much is going on up in this toy’s noggin. A couple of IR emitters are mounted in place of pupils and the associated wires are run down into his body. Right between a pink donut and a Krusty burger resides an Arduino and ethernet shield. This electronic duo acts as a web server and looks out to the ‘net for an online script. The script polls an online TV Program Guide and if ‘The Simpsons’ are on at that time, it sends a signal back to the Arduino to turn the TV on.

Homer Smart Remote   Jolly Homer

A 7″ Touchscreen TV Remote Control from Scratch

7inchRemote

[Jason] always wanted a touchscreen TV remote control. He could have pressed an older Android tablet into service, but he wanted to roll his own system. [Jason] gathered the parts, and is in the process of building his own 7″ touchscreen setup. He started with a 7″ LCD capacitive touchscreen. He ordered his display from buy-display.com, a Far East vendor.

[Jason's] particular display model comes mounted on a PCB which includes controllers for the display and touchscreen, as well as some memory and glue logic. The LCD controller board has quite a few jumpers to support multiple interfaces and options. While the documentation for the display was decent, [Jason] did find a few errors. After getting in touch with tech support at buy-display, he wrote a simple application which determines which jumpers to set depending on which hardware interfaces are selected from drop down lists.

With the LCD sorted, [Jason] still needed a processor. He selected the venerable Microchip PIC32MX series. This decision allowed him to use a Fubarino for the early prototypes, before switching to his own board as the system matured. [Jason] was able to get a simple GUI up and running, with standard remote buttons to control his TV and cable box. Code is on his Github repository.

[Jason's] most recent work has centered on cutting the cord. He’s switched over from DC power to a 2600 mAh LiPo battery. Click past the break to see [Jason] test out his fully wireless work in progress.

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The INFRA-NINJA — A PC Remote Receiver

F3GULGEHTOUJI73.MEDIUM

Laziness sometimes spawns the greatest inventions. Making things to reduce effort on your part is quite possibly one of the greatest motivators out there. So when [Kyle] had to get out of bed in order to turn off Netflix on his computer… He decided to do something about it.

He already had an Apple remote, which we have to admit, is a nice, simple and elegant control stick — so he decided  to interface with it in order to control his non-Apple computer. He quickly made up a simple PCB up using the good ‘ol toner transfer method, and then populated it with a Bareduino, a CP2102 USB 2.0 to TTL UART 6PIN Serial Converter, an IR receiver, a USB jack, header pins, and a few LED and tactile switches.

It’s a bit tricky to upload the code (you have to remove the jumper block) but then it’s just a matter of connecting to it and transferring it over with the Arduino IDE. The Instructable is a bit short, but [Kyle] promises if you’re really interested he’ll help out with any questions you might have!

Using an IR remote with your Arduino

If you’ve ever needed a short-range remote control for a project, [firestorm] is here to help you out. He put up a great tutorial on using an IR remote to do just about anything with everyone’s favorite microcontroller platform.

[firestorm] used the Arduino IRremote library to decode the button presses on his remote. After uploading the IR receive demo included in the library, the Arduino spit out hex codes of what the IR receiver was seeing. [firestorm] wrote these down, and was able to program his Arduino to respond to each individual button press.

After figuring out the IR codes for his remote, [firestorm] threw a shift register into his bread board and attached a seven-segment LED. Since [firestorm] knows the codes for the number buttons on his remote, it’s very easy to have the LED display flash a number when the corresponding button on the remote is pressed.

A single seven-segment display might not be extremely useful, but with [firestorm]‘s tutorial, it’s easy to give your Arduino some remote control capabilities with a simple IR receiver. Not bad for a few dollars in parts.

Playing snake with a TV remote

[vinod] sent in his replica of a Snake game, the game to play on old Nokia dumb phones.

The build is based on a PIC16F877 microcontroller just like previous Snake builds we’ve seen, but [vinod] didn’t use physical buttons in his build. Instead, he used a Philips infrared TV remote to control the game. The infrared controller only takes up one pin on the microcontroller, as opposed to the 4 pins of the easiest four button setup. [vinod] also threw in a simple one-transistor level converter so Snake can be played with a PC via RS-232. With the PIC code included in the build, it’s a great build that reminds us of a more civilized age.

The video of [vinod]‘s snake game in action is posted after the break, but we noticed that the snake is allowed to ‘warp around’ the sides of the LED matrix. Some people might consider that cheating but that can be fixed by changing a few lines of code.

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How-to: USB remote control receiver

Now that we listen to MP3s, and watch XVIDs or x264s, a computer is the entertainment center in at least one room of most homes. Unless you have a special HTPC, though, you’re probably stuck using the keyboard to pause, change the volume, and fast-forward through annoying Mythbusters recaps. PC remote control receivers range from ancient serial port designs (who has one?) to USB devices not supported by popular software. In this how-to we design a USB infrared receiver that imitates a common protocol supported by software for Windows, Linux, and Mac. We’ve got a full guide to the protocol plus schematics and a parts list.

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Control Media Center with programmable IR receiver

This IR receiver based on ATtiny13 microcontroller is used to control a Media Center box via a remote. The circuit is powered by 20 pin ATX connector pin 9 “+5VSB” because it is the only pin that is powered when the computer is off, or in standby. The receiver is programmed to accept the codes from the remote by holding down the switch while pressing the remote button. The circuit can use “Girder” or “PC remote control” as controlling software on the Media Center.

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