Arduino Home Statistics

[Mike] is doing a little series that is about DIY smart homes. While these wont turn your house into a Hal 9000 (and hopefully wont try and kill you), they are fun and fairly easy to carry out. Parts 1 and 2 focus on the bathroom, part 3+ is in the works. Lets go ahead and look at what is done already.

DIY smart home part 1 covers the kings throne. Through the use of an Arduino, ultrasonic rangefinder, Ethernet shield, and twitter account, whenever the toilet is used a counter goes up. Calculate that against your gallons per flush and you now have reasonable water tracker.

Diy smart home part 2 hits the shower with much of the same hardware and goals. Adding on to the Arduino software there is now a PIR sensor and another twitter account. Basing knowledge from a Lady Ada tutorial on PIR sensors, the additional Arduino code slides into place and some loose ends from part one are cleaned up.

We cant wait to see what is in store for the future and wish [Mike] the best of luck.

15 thoughts on “Arduino Home Statistics

  1. Hmmm, I have to say, if it were me, I would call that more of an eco-home series.

    You say smart home to me, I envisage a dwelling that automatically controls lighting, temperature, and does little things like turns down music when the phone rings.

    Then again, maybe it’s just me, and everyone else automatically thinks of water trackers and twitter.

  2. Smart-home for poor people series… People who have Crestron home automation already have this level of integration, although they usually choose to delete twitter integration.

    Cute to see guys spending a few thousand hours to replicate what others have had in their home 6 years ago.

  3. “Cute to see someone who isnt in the top 0.1% of the world’s wealthy spending a few thousand hours to replicate what others just threw money at to have in their home 6 years ago.”

    Here, I fixed that for you.

  4. Hasn’t the water company done this for us already? Doesn’t every home have a water meter outside somewhere? Or is the intention to monitor every potential use of water in the home?

    You have not gone to the bathroom a healthy number of times today, Dave. Drink more water.
    You have not showered in three days, Dave. You stinky bastard. Get in the shower now or I will activate part 5 of my installation and turn off the electricity.

  5. @lolwatski – good point, that toilet actually resulted from a conversation (on a boingboing live chat) I had with one of the guys over at hacklab.

    We talked about a toilet that could tweet and both left the conversation with the idea that we would each try to build one. He beat me by 4 days:

    However his was much more impressive.

    @everyone – The plan is to get more complex as the series moves on. The next project will be a garage door controlled with your iphone (including a status monitor that lets you know if its up or down) and a parking sensor inside that tells you when to stop.

  6. @Squirtle “Doesn’t every home have a water meter outside somewhere?”

    Um, NO! Some homes are on wells and there is no measurement of water used. The only cost is the cost to pump it from the well to the home.

    Oh and as a side benefit, many of these homes that don’t measure or pay for water don’t pay for sewage removal either. They have something called a Septic Tank and a Leach Field.


    I too thought this post would be about controlling HVAC, lighting, sound, or something similar. Twitting that facilities were used is not at the top of my interests, but maybe I can pick up something anyway.


    I would never pay for home automation, though I will gladly spend time and energy building exactly the automation I want and spending very little to get it.

  7. A couple of things that cross my mind…

    Why those sensors? Seems pretty crude way of doing things.

    Why not use a float sensor in the toilet cistern this would measure actual flushes and I think would be cheaper…

    For the shower, a flow sensor would give more accurate measurement.

    I see plenty of opportunity for false positive readings with the approaches used.

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