Gamifying Household Chores Helps Get The Kids To Pitch In

It’s rare to find anyone that gets excited about doing chores. This can lead to members of a household abrogating their duties. In these cases, enforcement is a common tactic. Tired of laminated chore grids and inconsistent results, [alastair-a] decided to tech up with an electronic chore tracking system.

[alastair-a]’s Task Manager is based around an Arduino Nano, fitted with the ever-popular HD44780-compatible LCD screen. Interfacing with the unit is via rotary encoder and RFID tag, while a real-time clock module keeps track of the time.

A custom data structure is used to manage tasks. This allows varying frequencies to be set for different tasks, as well as keeping track of the time of completion by different users. Each user has their own personal RFID tag, which can be swiped across the reader to indicate when a chore has been done.

The initial intent was to have the device print reports each week in order to reward the best performing members of the household. However, [alastair-a] reports the device was so popular with the younger members of the household, that they seem to have forgotten about rewards entirely!

We’ve seen chore reminders before; it’s often popular to build them as IoT devices.

IOU Management For Roommate Chores

[Chris] shares a dorm room with five other people. When living with others its important to stay on top of cleaning and to do so equitably the sextuplet came up with a well-planned whiteboard of chores. The problem lies in getting everyone to do theirs in a timely manner. To help facilitate this, [Chris] came up with a system that lets roommates swap chores, giving each other IOU’s for future duties.

The system uses an Arduino board along with an RTC chip for precise timekeeping. The user interface is made up of a graphic LCD and a keypad with everything mounted inside of a cardboard box. [Chris] shows off his system in the video after the break, spending the majority of time on the debt system. The roommates have a pot of money for group groceries and this system will let you know where everyone stands. But according to his written description this also stores the calendar of chores that need to get done, and will let you trade with one another to fit your personal schedule.

So now the issue is getting everyone to use the system. But we don’t think that’s going to be too tough since all six of them are computer scientists.

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