In theory, there is no reason you can’t automate things all over your house. However — unless you live alone — you need to consider that most people won’t accept your kludgy looking circuits on a breadboard hanging everywhere. Lighting has become easy now that there are a lot of commercial options. However, there are still plenty of things that cry for automation. For [jeevanAnga], the curtains were crying out for remote control.
Since cellphones are ubiquitous, it makes sense to use the phone as a controller and BlueTooth Low Energy (BLE) is perfect for this kind of application. But you can’t hang a big ugly mess of wires off the curtain rods. That’s why [jeevanAnga] used a tiny (16.6 x 11.5 mm) BLE board knows as a BluChip.
We didn’t verify it, but [jeevanAnga] claims it is the smallest BLE board available, and it is certainly tiny. You can see the result in the video below.
Of course, the BluChip only talks to the phone. A stepper motor does the hard work with the help of a belt, a pulley, and gears. The BluChip also requires a separate programmer and that’s not so tiny, but of course, you only need it while you configure the device.
Inside, the BluChip is an ARM processor (Cortex M0 with 256K of flash and 32K of RAM). It works on 1.8 to 3.6 volts and is FCC certified, so you could easily use it in a commercial product. Most of the useful signals are brought out to pins on 0.1 inch centers, which is handy.
You still need a bit of supporting hardware (like a stepper driver) so the challenge is to make the device attractive enough to reside in the living room. The good news is that you can sneak that tiny BLE board almost anywhere.