Living in a triple in college has its challenges, especially if you got the bed in the shared lounge. We set out to build something that would rid this unlucky occupant of doorman duty, and in the process conceived something that could very well appeal to anyone with a front door.
What it does
DRD takes the traditional functionality of a doorbell and elevates it into the realm of IoT. It is the perfect contraption to offer occupants the grace of visitor text notifications, a system off/on toggle and of course the very feature that makes it a doorbell - sound notification.
How we built it
We used the following components to physically build this project:
Hc-05 Bluetooth Modules, Arduino Wi-Fi Shield 101, A Buzzer, A Multitude of jumper wires,
We used the following resources to facilitate functionality:
ThingSpeak.com and Twilio.com
Challenges we ran into
Arduino's Wifi 101 board uses the aptly named 'Wifi101' library in addition to the SPI library to carry out its functionality. Unfortunately our chosen library for Bluetooth connectivity 'SoftwareSerial' defines methods that are also defined in 'WiFi101' and when both libraries are used the code does not compile for this reason. We faced a major roadblock in getting the two libraries to work simultaneously which was the only way we could get our both our texting feature and ringing feature to work at the same time. We initially thought the only way to work around this was to manipulate the C code in the libraries using a text editor, but we were made aware of
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We were proud of the fact that we were able to get both the bluetooth and the wifi working simultaneously. We believed that it was vital to the design of the project that both be incorporated and so we did not give up the hope that we could get them both to work even though it seemed very difficult i the beginning to do so. We were also proud of the do not disturb subsystem that we incorporated into our design. Although it was not much trouble to install, we believe it is central to our product as it is extremely practical in its functionality, essentially making the product a doorbell that can actually be turned off or on at will. We believe that we have truly solved a problem for those looking to avoid distractions when in the privacy of their own living quarters if visitors respect the doorbell and use it over knocking. Overall, to see a completed design come to fruition is a great feeling that we look to experience more of for years to come.
What we learned
We learned that with diligence, systems can be altered to function the way that you want them to. It simply takes careful thought and planning. One must test each part of their product to find the location of the smallest of error so that it can be corrected and the entire system can function as desired. We also learned that a product can always be improved. We were constantly thinking of new things to add to the doorbell that with more time we surely would have incorporated.
What's next for Dorm Room Doorbell
In the future, we would like to incorporate a camera so that one can see who is at their door as well as a sort of identification feature that allows one to know that a specific person is at the door as opposed to a stranger. This could help in times of emergency as it would hopefully speed up the users reactions in specific situations. These are just a few improvements that we look implement in future. A big aspect of our design that we would have liked to improve was the physical look and feel of the doorbell components. Given more time we would have liked to have packed the doorbell and buzzer into their own solid casing using a SolidWorks design.