Welp, our Amazon Echo broke, and now we can’t close the blinds. Of course we could just close them with our hands, the way people do, but let’s be honest–that’s preposterous. Once you automate, you never go back to hand-operate!
This is the second installment of Bonsai Watering for Slackers where we’ll cover the software involved in giving our bonsai tree a voice through Slack. This way our bonsai can let us know when it’s getting watered with a nice message like this:
For this project, TheConnMan and I combined two of our greatest loves:
- Mine: having plants, but not actually having to take care of plants.
- TheConnMan’s: Slack, the chat tool. He’s concerningly obsessed with it…
It’s been about 3 months into this New Year’s resolution and I’ve picked up some pretty dece tools and techniques for building a blog. In this post, we’ll break away from convention and blog about blogging (Yo dawg, I heard you liked blogging…). Here I’ll list and discuss some of the tools and techniques that have come in most handy along the way so far.
Hey everyone, I’m TheConnMan and I’ll be writing this post on building the Internet of Things (IoT) connective tissue to bridge the gap between Alexa and the Arduino. In other words: how to make everything talk to each other after building the prototype in Part 1. Our main goal is to get messages from a user (in the form of voice commands) to the Arduino. Let’s see how it’s done.
Our first custom project was to automate the opening and closing of our living room blinds. Yes, it’s not that hard to get up and rotate the little rod on each window for 8 seconds, but it’s waaaaay cooler to just tell Alexa to do it for you (check out a previous post for an introduction to Alexa).
To start building custom home automation projects, you’ll first need to build a toolbox of both items and skills. The list I propose below is a recommendation on how to get started. Your toolbox will likely end up being slightly different and will evolve over time. For our future projects, I will assume that these basic items are in your toolbox and that we won’t need to purchase/learn them anew.
Ok! Now that we’ve got the blog up and running, I need to figure out how one actually blogs: what’s important, what’s not important, what works, and what doesn’t work. This post on the Minimalist blog was very useful to get us off the ground. I will add my thoughts on our niche, value, and ideal readers to the About page soon.
Right now I’m working on getting this blog up and running so we can post about some projects that turned out pretty dece!