Hackaday Prize Entry: Telling Dad The Stove Is Off

A month ago, Hackaday landed at the NYC TechCrunch Disrupt, a bastion of people up all night on MacBooks and immense amounts of caffeine and vitamin B12. For 20 hours, everyone was typing away trying to build the next great service that would be bought by Google or Amazon or Facebook. Tucked away in one small corner of the room was the Hackaday crew, giving out dev boards, components, and advice to the few dozen hardware hackers at Disrupt. [David], one of these Hackaday enthusiasts won the Twilio Sponsorship Prize at Disrupt, and now it’s a Hackaday Prize entry.

[David]’s dad has a little bit of paranoia of accidentally leaving the stove on. This usually manifests itself a few minutes after leaving the house, which means turning the car around just to make sure the stove was off. At the TechCrunch hackathon, [David] built a small IoT device to automatically read the temperature of the stove, send that off to the Internet, and finally as an SMS via Twilio.

The hardware [David] is using is extremely minimal – a thermopile, a gas sensor, a WiFi module, and a microcontroller. There’s a lot of iterations in this project, with [David] looking at everything from TI MSP430s to Teensys to Arduinos to ESP8266 modules. Still, rough prototype thrown together in 20 hours is all you need to win the Twilio prize at Disrupt, and that’s more than enough for a very good Hackaday Prize entry.


The 2015 Hackaday Prize is sponsored by:

5 thoughts on “Hackaday Prize Entry: Telling Dad The Stove Is Off

    1. I don’t think it helps all. I have OCD too. The problem is that maybe the first time you trust the device. But after that, you get thoughts like: what if the device is broken, what if internet is disconnected, powers are out, the sensor is defected, there is a bug in the firmware, … And you got back to the place you’ve started!

      1. Exactly, if he can’t trust a manual valve/switch and the people he lives with, why would he trust the wireless technology. I think a solenoid gas valve that cuts off gas to the stove makes more sense (closed with no power) or something similar for an electric oven. Either way, to combat OCD you’d need redundant checks that support the other check’s validity.

    2. @Ronald
      OCD is weird. Sometimes the obsession and compulsion don’t even fit together. You may have a person (I’m totally making this example up, but it’s in line with a few case studies I read) who has inexplicable, intrusive thoughts thatthey’re going to poison their children and have found that sorting M&Ms by color distracts them from this fear, as a form of self-calming like when anxious cats purr. They may well know it’s irrational, that they would never hurt their kids, and even that the M&M thing doesn’t make sense, but they can’t help it.

      Incidentally, the term for awareness that there’s something wrong and that what you’re doing is irrational, maladaptive, or whatever is “insight.” People with OCD frequently have it. Pedophiles do not.

      Brains are weird.

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