Home Automation Instructables!

Home automation is the reserve of those with actual money. How about some instructables that do home tasks for you, maybe a doorbell-to-USB hack, or others? what are your ideas? Paradox Detected.

Posted by paradoxdetected 8 years ago

Step by step instructions on how to control electronics through the ports on my computer.

I would like to learn how to control electronics (lights radio) through the ports (Serial or CAT5) in my computer. I need software and hardware help. I do not want to use the X10s I want to get into the nity gritty. THanks

Asked by mutlyp 9 years ago

Automatic Bottle Filler, Seal and Capper and Label Applicator.?

HELP!!! OK, I have put together a awesome new group of liquid based products for a variety of uses (being vague bc it's to much to go over now). But before my investor group will commit to stage 3 of funding (stage one was a small infusion for the chemistry and product development, and stage 2 is on my own dime). Now I have 30 days to come up with plans and a protoype assembly line to produce the first 500K in units...it needs to be fully automatic, not semi-automatic...at least for each individual process. I have researched the net and there are alot of semi-auto systems i can fully automate, and the big boy systems are just out of my reach until I get stage 3 funding...i have to produce a min of this much product in an effort to get it on the shelves of the clients we have setup. I need to fill round bottles (2.5 and 4 oz and 12oz), fill flat sided quarts and gallons, and hopefully at some point round and flat sided 3,5,and7 gallon buckets. i know that this can be one machine with different run setups or 3-4 different similar systems. then I need a sealer, basically applies the pressure sensitive seal then heats it and seals it form spilling, tampering etc. then a separate system that screws the cap on finally and importantly applies either the peel and stick pressure sensitive pre-printed labels, or heat transfer label or silk screening... OK before anyone says a thing...i know its very complex, I know it's gonna cost some money, but I do know it can be done DIY style... so your thoughts, input, links to similar parts and pieces or ideas, etc...

Asked by IdeaVault 6 years ago

Home Automation category?

Is there any chance of getting a Home Automation category in the Technology section of the site? A search for home automation yields some results, but neglects microcontroller projects in the home and other things. Would be a big help!         -Luke

Posted by lkarmaz2 6 years ago

Doors and WIndows Automation

Hello, I am trying to automate the windows and doors in our barn using NEMA  stepper motor and Lead screw and would like to exert around 20 Kg force for opening or closing. The windows are fairly old and made of wrought Iron. I am wondering if somebody can advise and help me selecting the motor (based on torque) and the appropriate diameter of the Lead screw for this instance.  The idea being that when the lead screw rotates, the ball nut flange moves left or right and pushes the connecting rod out or in thus opening or closing the window I have attached a rough sketch what I had in mind and please pardon me for any mistakes. Many Thanks Ash

Posted by AshishJ61 1 year ago

Passive home automation

Hey all, been working out idea's for a project recently, and kind of stuck on one point. So the plan is to do up some automation in my basement. Right now I was starting with my desk, using a phidget usb relay controller to control desk lamps, move on to insteon for actual ceiling lights, but one thing I want to do would be passive control. So if the system detects me coming down the stairs it will turn on the ceiling lights, then when it detects me sitting at my computer the computer will log me in. I was thinking rfid, but not finding any hobby boards for rfid with ranges over a couple of centimeters. I know people have done this with bluetooth, but on testing my computer will connect to my phone if I'm just about anywhere upstairs above the computer and kills the point of this whole endeavor so any and all help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Posted by Frentraken 6 years ago

Are there any common timers that are programmable to the second? (my sprinkler timer is programmable only to the minute)

We are using a sprinkler timer to automate the opening and closing of a ball valve by linear actuator. The problem is the sprinkler timer is only programmable to the minute, so it opens, lets water flow for a minute, and then closes. This wastes water as we only need to empy the tank for 10-ish seconds. Any timers that are programmable to the second?

Asked by paulpaulpaulpaul 8 years ago

Use a door switch to run script on a computer?

 I'm wondering, how would I go about installing and configuring a door switch hooked up to a computer and having the computer run a program or script when the switch is activated..lets say, when the door is opened. or even better, have several switched and have each switch activate a different script or application?

Asked by StillAlive_ 8 years ago

Is it ok to post it?

Hey Instructables! So a couple of weeks ago I finished a year long project, automating my room. The project is completly modular so if any piece burns out or fails you can quickly switch it, the project includes automatic lighting controlled via a PIR sensor, an LM35 controlled fan, a miniature green house controlled by another LM35 and it displays the info about humidity and temp, through a 16x2 lcd and DHT11, a combination lock for my door via a keypad, a infrared control that can turn on or of my desk lamp, alarm clock, room lights, solder station and has the function to turn the whole system on or off, it also includes a modified Sony alarm clock, that has a TDA2040 amplifier with aux in and its connected to some speakers around my room. I have all the eagle files and ready to print pdf´s. Everything is controlled by 2 DIY arduinos. I made most of the modules for the sensor array but a couple of the controll modules were made using already existing files on fritzing, and the DIY-Duino https://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Arduino-or-The-DIY-Duino/ Should I redesign this modules and controller board before uploading, or will crediting the authors of this parts will do?

Posted by GG_Beta 4 years ago


This is the beginning of a project I've been wanting to do for a while now. I'm just learning microcontrollers and electronics, so anyone if there is anyone out there who notices me doing something stupid, please let me know. I have a 12-gallon Nano Cube reef aquarium. I want to automate as much of the maintenance as I can. I'm going to start with adding top-off water. This is Topper v1.0 and like any vX.0 you can count on it having problems.Now I know some of you are probably wondering why I don't write this up as an instructable. Well, that is on my list, but it has a ways to go before its ready. I mean, take a look at it! Isn't that the ugliest thing you've ever seen?When the whole thing is finished and prettied up I'll make an instructable out of it. Eventually I'll want to switch to an AVR microcontroller because of the cost. But the Parallax Basic Stamp is just so much easier for quick and dirty programming.Here is the initial controller program.'---------------------------------------------------------------' FloatSwitchTest.bs2' First attempt to control the top off pump with the Stamp' {$STAMP BS2}' {$PBASIC 2.5}DO IF (IN15 = 0) THEN 'Reads float switch HIGH 14 'Turns on pump HIGH 6 'Turns on LED ELSE LOW 14 'Turns off pump LOW 6 'Turns off LED ENDIF PAUSE 1000 'One second pauseLOOP'----------------------------------------------------------------This is just to get things started, but already its nice not having to top it off every day and even at that, the swing in salinity was more than I was happy with.The pump is a Tom Aquarium Products AW-20. At 3.5 gph and a 30" head, with nearly that from top off water to tank and a "one way valve" I wasn't sure how often it would come on or how long it would run at a time. So far, its been running 3-4 times a day for 35 - 40 seconds at a shot. I've started adding Kent Marine Superbuffer-dKH to the top off watch. I want to keep it at about 10 dKH.Anyone looking closely at the photo will notice an IC not listed on the circuit diagram. Its a DS1302 real-time clock and microcontroller isn't currently using it. Next up is connecting that and a 16x2 LCD display to show the time and track how long the pump runs.All comments are welcome, from "I'm curious why you..." to "ARE YOU INSANE?!?!".

Posted by GlobalVillageIdiot 10 years ago

How can i make an Automated Plant Watering for plants on balcony?

I have one tap and 8 flowerpots on a balcony. How can i construct an  Automated Plant Watering for plants?

Asked by kalliopib 7 years ago

Arduino Home Automation

My new home is under construction and I was thinking of arduino based home automation for it. I am new to the arduino family so is it possible for anyone to help me step by step? It would be great if it is iOS controlled. Thanx in advance

Posted by harsh7827 6 years ago

Make my plasma cutter into an automated plasma cutter?

 I am wondering if anyone has taken their plasma cutter and outfitted it with an automated system? I use a Miller 625 unit by hand. Can this be adapted into an automated cnc outfit? Many thanks, Nicholas

Asked by Nehaniv 8 years ago

How to load an app within webpage iframe? How to automate script on windows?

The android app via bluestacks is what I want within a webpage and if possible to also embed this within my app (.exe). How can I also let an automated script to run on booting to open a command. How to load an app within webpage iframe? How to automate script on windows prompt within a file location then input a code then press enter and leave it open. This will be repeated every time after booting. The free app is what I want to restrict directly from clients.

Asked by awise303 9 months ago

growerbot, social gardening assistant

Howdy, I've built a follow-up to my garduino project that I'm really excited about. Called growerbot, it's a fully-automated, wifi-connected, open-source gardening assistant. Check it out on kickstarter, and please let me know any ideas to improve it! -Luke  lukeiseman.com

Posted by liseman 5 years ago

Service that automates ordering all the parts for your Instructable?

Hey everyone, Sorry to spam the forum; just had a quick question. I am thinking of building a web-based tool that would allow you to drop the bill of materials from an Instructable in, and then other people could order everything at once when they wanted to build your kit. Do you think you would use something like this? What if it didn't have that feature, but it was just a web-based bill of materials builder where you can keep a nice-looking list, with sources, of all the parts? Thanks! Justin

Posted by justindunham 6 years ago

Paper Document Sorting?

So say you have to sort a lot of papers that need to be in a single stack in a specific order. Any idea how hard it would be to rig one of these up, or if its even worth it? Maybe someone sells one that I just haven't found. A simple google search doesn't really bring up anything remotely close (i.e. mechanical sorting, document sorting, business automation machines, or mix of the above terms). Any ideas? Thanks in advance.

Asked by Lorek 6 years ago

Reactive Lighting

Has anyone seen the LED lighting in some grocery store freezers that comes on only when you stand near it? I'm wondering if anyone knows of a circuit I could build that i could line my hallways with LEDs and have them come on as I walk down the hall?

Posted by tfrost1980 6 years ago

How would someone go about rapidly turning lights on and off? Answered

Back in October, before I knew about the awesomeness of Instructables, (AKA "The best website ever,") I was trying to make some spooky ambiance for Halloween by having some lights with red color gels turn on and off every half-minute-or-so inside the house, along with some screaming, chainsaw sounds, etc. I attempted to figure out how to do this by asking on Yahoo Answers, and... well.. read it yourself to get the full picture. Realize that one answer was amazingly vague, another simply answered by what I already tried doing, and the community-voted-best answer was joking! So, I'm a bit curious, but lets pretend it's back in October. How would someone go about turning lights on or off every 30 seconds?

Asked by aelias36 7 years ago

How to build a smart home for a recreation vehicle(RV)

There are already a bunch of projects doing similar things for houses but non for RV homes. I would like to communicate with my camper RV motor home and trying to understand and learn ways to do this. Here are some thought of requirements: - Data like temperatures, rain sensor, burglarizing alarm and a few webcams - Google App engine and Google GCM for the storage and bidirectional communication. - The RV API can let any device have bidirectional coms My thought is to us info from other HOUSE projects and do a mash-up to fit an RV, example: (thanks to Nikus at instructables) "Smart home with arduino" https://www.instructables.com/id/Smart-home-with-arduino/ The HOUSE in this project has a static ip no problem with coms but what about an RV? There are a number of questions like I think the RV will have problem with a static IP or maybe not any ides on this would be grate? Why do most project use the Arduion over the Raspberry pie what would be most suitable for my project? If anybody here have done this or want to contribute with knowledge it would be a grate

Posted by erikswed 2 years ago

Home Automation

Hello everyone,I'm looking into automating my home. Control anything from every where. Some sort of centralised computer that will controle my home. Like Hal from 2001 or Sarah from the tv show Eureka.For that I need instructables, I already found this, this and this. but i need more. Any one else know of any instructables that can help me accomplish this task? PS I already made a group for this.

Posted by Anoniempje 9 years ago

MisterHouse home automation

"MisterHouse is an open source home automation program. It's fun, it's free, and it's entirely geeky. Written in Perl, it fires events based on time, web, socket, voice, and serial data. It currently runs on Windows 95/98/NT/2k/XP and on most Unix based platforms, including Linux and Mac OSX. It can talk, it can check your messages, control the lights, program your VCR, and what is best - it understands spoken commands. It can even track your car by interfacing to a TNC. And there are 600 users and 209 authors contributing to this project. Cool, eh?"

Posted by The G-Man 7 years ago

bar code or qr code?

I am trying to develop an automation project that requires the use of an identification code. i'll be using a application made on delphi, running in a regular PC and the delphi program must read the code and give an order to the electric motor. i want some advice on this matter, like, which code should i use (qr or bar code) and the hardware and software required for this, so tha the delphi program can read it. please help! ps: sorry for any english errors

Posted by nogleo 6 years ago

How to build an automated motorized curtain puller alarm clock?

I'd like to rig up a system which will automatically pull open the curtains in my bedroom at a preset time in the morning. The curtains open quite nicely by pulling on strings tied to their inside ends, and it'll be easy to run both those strings to a central location where they can be wound around some sort of motorized spool. So, what I need is a simple little motor (needn't be too powerful, I'd think) that can drive such a spool, and then some way to control it based on the time. Something as simple as a light switch timer, though, which merely switches a circuit on or off at a given time, isn't quite enough, because the motor will need to run for, say, 5 seconds to open the curtains and then stop. Ideally, it would be nice if there was a user-friendly interface I could use to set the time of the curtain alarm, and there should also be a way to just press a button to trigger the opening on command. Any thoughts? Thanks very much!

Asked by baravelli 5 years ago

how to make an automatic paper towel dispenser? Answered

I'm trying to build my own, but I'm not exactly sure how it works. I currently have a 12v power source, a PIR sensor, and a 12v motor. I've read online to try to figure some things out and a came across a set reset flip flop. i figured this will make the motor run then stop and reset the circuit. but when i try to connect everything nothing happens. in its simplest form i want it to dispense for probably about 3-5 seconds then turn off. is there an easier way to achieve this?

Asked by daric111 3 years ago

Automata Weevil - Creating a Giant Moving Weevil for the Stage

Crazy internal gears and hidden winches went in to creating this amazing non-motorized spectacle for a stage production of The Difficulty of Crossing a Field. A team at Texas Performing Arts at the University of Texas at Austin (my alma mater!) came up with the elegant solution shown in the video above.    J.E. Johnson speaks more about it here. The video is awesome, but maybe next time the outstanding UT crew could make an Instructable of something like this?  C'mon, J.E., throw a girl a bone - it's an excellent educational process! Nonetheless, it's brilliant work, and I love the opportunity to see inside the finished weevil! p.s.  you may recognize someone else's name in the credit's too!

Posted by scoochmaroo 7 years ago

Automated License Plate Recognition - Good ? Bad ? Indifferent?

Is this a good thing? Does anyone see any possible bad in it (drawbacks, ways to abuse the system)? One place the videos can be found

Posted by Goodhart 9 years ago

Can Automator run on Mac OS X Jaguar?

I have an old iMac DV (2000) which has Mac OS X Jaguar on it. Can I copy the Automator program from another Macintosh running Mac OS X Tiger onto my iMac and run it?

Asked by erikals 8 years ago

Automated Log-in

Hello Instructable community, I have an amazing idea.  Every time we visit instructables.com, it does not remember who I am.  Its easy enough to click log in with Facebook.  How about automating that feature like goodreads.com

Posted by Kdemon 4 years ago

Home Automation Version 2

Hey Internet! I recently made this Instrucable! Today I am starting to make its Version 2! Please give me your valuable feedback! What should I add? , What to remove? Please help me out!! https://www.instructables.com/id/Octopod-a-Smart-IOT-Home-Automation-Project/

Posted by sakshambhutani 4 months ago

what high torque servo should i use to control steering on go-kart i'm automating?

Hi I have an old go-kart which i'm teaching to drive itself using the kinect but I need a servo to control the steering. I know I need something hight torque but anything specific i'm not too sure on. any help choosing a type of servo or specifications on the one I should get would be greatly appreciated cheers

Asked by cheesemarathon 6 years ago

How to control a momentary switch from the web via a smartphone?

So we have an electronic gate that uses a push button momentary switch for opening and closing. The button itself is not unlike a doorbell or garage door button. I've been trying to figure out a way to remotely control this button from the web via a smartphone. I've looked around and found all number of light switches and power outlets that can be web controlled, but can't seem to locate a momentary relay for my purposes. I was hoping to be able to patch into or replace the existing button with something that would give me the capability, but without breaking the bank.  Is there a momentary relay out there that can easily be connected to my home network?  Thanks.

Asked by A.J.B. 4 years ago

How to build a wifi or bluetooth capable button pusher for turning on computer from a distance?

I have been googleing this like crazy and cannot find anything close enough related to what I am trying to do.  I would like to be able to (ideally) use an iphone or ipad to send a wireless signal to a circuit board that then tells a piston (button pushing) mechanism to push the cylindrical on button on my computer.  It doesn't have to be a wireless signal, I could settle for less considering my lack of expertise in the area.  I am however confident in soldering and some scripting, which I thought about using a raspberry pi might work for this, especially for the wireless part of the project, but I would prefer still something with even less overhead.  If anyone has any ideas or direction that would be awesome.

Posted by zcmcc 5 years ago

How to control DIY linear actuator with end switches and sensor input?

I want to build a DIY 12v DC linear actuator, using Arduino uno. The actuator is DIY so it does not have any position tracking. I want to use 2 relays to control the direction of the actuator, two end switches, and one sensor input (preferably a photo resistor) The sensor, and end switches are connected to Arduino UNO R3 as inputs and relays as outputs. When the sensor is energized motor moves forward until it hits End Switch No 1 and stops; When the sensor its not energized motor moves backwards until it hits End Switch No 2 and stops: And be able to repeat this program whenever  the sensor is energized. I would be greatly appreciate if someone can help me with this sketch, because i don't have any experience with Arduino code. Thank you and have a grat day.

Asked by catalin1704 6 months ago

How can I make an automated ball pitching machine?

Can anyone show or tell me how to make a ball pitching machine, similar to the ones they use for practicing baseball and tennis? I want to make one for my dog. Thanks for your help in advance.

Posted by Lulebelle 4 years ago

Home automation system configuration?

I have recently purchased a used home automation system off of eBay. The whole package included the following items. 1. Amber Wireless AMB8425-M USB Stick 2. Aeon Z-Stick S2 USB Stick 3. Huawei E173u-2 Boradband USB stick 4. 3 x Zwave Socket adapters 5. 7links NAS Print/ USB Server Photos of these modules can be seen below. The seller was not aware how all these modules can be put together into a home automation system. I googled for sometime and figured out that I can setup an indoor automation solution using only the Aeon-Zwave USB and the Z-Wave socket adapters, and control them using my android phone. Can someone please help me how can i use the remaining modules and setup the automation for remote access as well ? Many thanks

Asked by muhammajunaid 3 years ago

I want to build a home automation system similar to the one liek made by HAI homeauto.com, that is not x10... Answered

I want to build a home automation system similar to the one liek made by HAI homeauto.com, that is not x10...but sends signals to the switches bi-directionally to and from each wall switch or plug...keypads, screens, thermostas, etc have cate 5 run to them...and this all can be controlled via pc/network, screens or media center...ideas?

Asked by IdeaVault 8 years ago

How do I make a cheap automated drawer?

I want to build a simple headboard for my bed and have a vertical drawer pop out from both left and right. How do I build an automated pop-out drawer, especially on a (relative) budget? I was thinking of having basic springs attached to the back of the drawers to push them out constantly, only to be kept closed by some locking mechanism that opens the drawer when stimulated by a switch.

Posted by spidey1588 4 years ago

Suggestions for automating the DVD copying process to preserve the collection?

I have about 2000+  DVD movies. I want to transfer them all to my new storage system(HDDs in terabytes) as image files. I just wanted to know if there is a device which can automate this process or anything I could make to auto-feed the disks? Thanks

Asked by mirzahadi 8 years ago

Automated Lighting?

Hi there, I am renting a place for my new office for 3D animation and I wanted to make an automatic lighting system to turn on lights when I'm in a room and off when I move to another room. How easy/hard is it to do that? And what do I need to make my light switch on and off slowly? Cheers, Shawin.

Posted by beatoven 10 years ago

All I have is an idea (And a love of instructables)

Hello dear Instuctablists, You can't see me, but I am down on one knee. It's intended to show my deference to you. The reason? Well, we just finished rebuilding the ground floor of my house and there's now a big, deep-ish rectangular space above the toilet (about 70cm x 50cm and 15 cm deep). I was looking at it the other day, and had an idea for what I would like to put there that made me laugh out loud. The trouble is I have NO IDEA how to make it. Not only that, I can't think of any search terms that are leading me to 'how to' videos. In short all I have is an idea and no clue how to even begin making it. So, here's my idea. What I want to make is what appears to be a framed picture of two velvet curtains. BUT when you flush, the curtains draw back (like at the theatre) to reveal a small scene inside. Lights come on, some music plays, little toys/characters/puppets appear and then ten seconds later, the curtains close and that's that.  In other words and automated, electronic, toy theatre. So what I'm asking is either a) If you have any idea where I should start with this could you tell me where or b) If the end product sounds like something you'd like to see exist and you know how to make it, do you want to mentor me? (We could turn it into a YouTube video/series, do it over Skype or if you're in/near London, UK meet up IRL). Maybe I'm over-reaching in the help stakes, but every time I look at that blank piece of wall, I think: try. Any help gratefully received. Even if you can't help, thanks for reading this. RH (Also, I can't work out how to turn that picture round either. Sheesh. This whole thing is a TALL order)

Posted by RufusH 2 years ago

An Idea for a Connected & Automated Healthcare Platform.

 Watch video demonstration of our Idea of a Connected and Automated healthcare platform. This project is part of a compitition so we need to popularize our video to go ahead into finals. If you like our Idea please share that Youtube link, more view means greater chances of clearing this round. Thank you. YouTube Link: http://youtu.be/J413BVBs6so

Posted by nikhilmaurya10 3 years ago

Large automated nut roaster?

I am not particularly gifted at the finer points of building things and would love your thoughts: Have you made, seen, or have ideas for a very simple automated, rotating DIY roaster that could be used to roast a large amount of nuts? Or on a simpler scale, Ideas for adding a motor to one of those whirley pop popcorn stovetop jobbies to get the handle turning automatically? Thanks all!

Asked by susie 7 years ago

Ideas: Is possible to use an old ipod touch for control something like a motor or lights?

I have my old ipod touch in the drawer. I think that is a good piece of hardware, and powefull CPU for control then the question is: can be used as a controller or brain of objects in the house?   (not only loading a simple freeapp , I mean, wired via USB and using wireless or bluetooth facilities for recibe orders from my iPhone or another device ) any ideas, things , howtos, and blueprint are welcome. thanks for advance.

Asked by martindisenio 3 years ago

home automation

I finished a project to control lights and window with pic18f2553  i programmed it on c++ every thing is going ok but the problem is when i connect the window (with up and down) the first command start but when i stop that command the program freeze

Posted by thijaz 5 years ago

Is it possible to use programmable pic in making our project coin automated changer?

Our project coin automated changer. the user will insert 5 peso coin and it will dispense 5 (1 peso coins) by the use of programmable pic, is it possible? any suggestions? thanks.

Asked by viennie 7 years ago