Introduction: DEEDU Empty Room

The purpose of this activity is to increase the user's sensitivity to energy consumption for temperature control.

This activity is designed for children over the age of 12, who are able to read and understand the indicative temperature numbers and the information that appears on the displays as well as having a perception of orientation on satellite maps. The use of electricity in the home is called "domestic consumption". Energy efficiency is the ability to make intelligent use of resources, minimizing waste as much as possible. For example, a room that is not frequented by anyone may not need air conditioning or artificial light. So how can we achieve energy efficiency in our living environment? Many small steps can be taken to get better use of consumption. In this activity we want to teach the user how to set a geolocation-based control on the smartphone to turn off any users that are mistakenly left on in the home. The user will trace a perimeter of coordinates within which, if not found, the smartphone would automatically send a signal to the Deedu device to switch off any utilities left on. At the end of this activity, the user is expected to have increased personal sensitivity in the use he makes of domestic resources.

Step 1: Creation of the Environment

Here we have to describe how the miniature house is created, the environment to be simulated and the things you need to do it:
How to build the box?

We take a box of shoes that we no longer use; With the help of a pair of scissors with a rounded tip, let's cut one of the shorter sides of the box. From here we could observe inside the box itself what will be simulated; Let's cut the other minor side in the same way. From this we will insert the small fan; By inserting the device inside the box, we created our miniature room and we are ready for the experiment.

How to build the device?

It is necessary that the pcb is well soldered so that the circuits are resistant and that they do not disconnect when you are going to put everything in the box. once the pcb is finished, it will have to be positioned over the raspberry for it to be put into operation.

To check if everything works well, switch the raspberry on and insert the pcb above it. With the help of a tester you can check that all the connections have been made well, just check that the voltage reaches all the desired points. A more thorough test can then be rerun when the whole device is ready. The attached diagram also indicates the temperature sensor as the activity in question is part of a package of pedagogical tools to improve the ecological sensitivity of the user. The temperature sensor is then used in another activity but the creation of a pcb for setting the device is preferable both as a single one. In this way you can reuse the same device on all available activities.

For the construction of the device, consult the guide at the following link

To close everything in a wrapper, it may be useful to 3D print the suitable box whose source can be downloaded at the following link.

Step 2: How to Prepare the Blynk App?

To set up the software system via Blynk, follow the guide:

Once the application has been downloaded from the store, it is necessary to register a Blynk account by creating a profile, after which a new project must be created and a token generated. The token is an element that acts as a shared key, that is, it is a word (a token) that uniquely identifies the project and allows you to connect the device to the control terminal. The app can be run on Android and Ios tablets and smartphones. This allows a wider audience of people to run and build the remote controller.

The Blynk app allows you to easily customize and change the interface of the remote controller. This guide explains how to make a version of the remote controller but nothing prevents you from adding new features to make it even more useful and nice.

Step 3: Let’s Manage the Logic!

We let the user enter and leave the traced perimeter and understand that when you are away from the home environment there is no need to leave the households on.

In the same way, we let the user understand that when he is outdoors, it is useless to leave the home lamp on.

Step 4: Let's Play, or Let's Walk!

A closed environment in which there is nobody is an environment that in the vast majority of cases does not need to be illuminated or cooled. Likewise, it is often completely unnecessary to keep many devices such as televisions, heaters or electronic consoles turned on.

From the Blynk app, we allow the user to familiarize themselves with turning on or off an electrical appliance.

The user must learn about what type of environment he is exercising control over. A bedroom, for example, does not need to be illuminated in the morning if you are at school or at work and therefore it is good to turn off the lights that may have been left on. Likewise, it is easy to guess that a bathroom does not need to be heated when you are away from home.

The user must learn about what type of environment he is exercising control over. A bedroom, for example, does not need to be illuminated in the morning if you are at school or at work and therefore it is good to turn off the lights that may have been left on. In the same way it is easy to guess that a bathroom does not need to be heated when you are away from home. The user will therefore have to hypothesize multiple application cases:

  • Light on in a bedroom during the day or in the evening
  • Heating of a bathroom day or night
  • Fan in a kitchen day or night

For each case, it is necessary to ask the user to reflect on the need to keep a device controlled through the remote control #deedu on or off. In this way, the user will make multiple attempts and metabolize the principles and advantages of a conscious use of electricity. In addition, remote control ensures that the user can remotely check whether home users are used correctly.

Step 5: Conclusion

At the end of the activity it is thought to have the children elaborate a page of diary, asking them to tell the experience they have carried out by highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of the device they have used and to provide any advice to the creators.

This will serve administrators, as well as creators of the device, on multiple fronts. It will undoubtedly be useful to creators to work on weak points, and therefore to improve. On the other hand, it will serve as a sort of database. In fact, this diary page will be kept by the creators in an archive, in order to be always accessible. Furthermore, if the critical issues emerge, once they are improved, the creators could think of carrying out this activity again. Therefore, the latter becomes essential for the formation of an archive and to be able to compare the results if the activity is proposed again later.

Step 6: Results

Sometimes we act wrongly not out of negligence or indifference towards our planet, but because some issues and some important precautions are ignored.

We adults have a moral obligation to inform children, sensitize them, allow them to have all that useful information to be a good citizen and to love their world (and here we do not focus only on the environmental aspect!) In fact, working with children allows you to promote initiatives that aim to change the wrong lifestyles that we may have due to bad, or completely absent, information.

By carrying out this activity that strongly recalls reality, children understand that this device can really be applied in any home environment, including their own home.

The purpose of the activity is to stimulate the user to make conscious use of energy resources in the home. The abstraction of the home environment by means of the box is aimed at arousing a connection in the user's mind with a real daily case. In this way, the user assimilates the advantages of using digital technology to make more efficient use of domestic resources. The perception of greater efficiency shows the user the sense of a reduction in waste.

This tutorial has been produced as part of the DEEDU project, co-financed by the Erasmus + Programme of the European commission. Project n°: 2018-1-FR02-KA205-014144.

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