As a lazy engineering student I hate getting up to pull the chain to open my blinds every morning. As a result of quarantine I go days without seeing sunlight. Lack of sunlight exposure has been proven to have effects on mental health and I wanted to use hardware to solve my problem.

What it does

The IoT smart blind system automatically opens and closes the blinds using your voice or smart device.

How we built it

I used an ESP32 as the brains as it is compatible with the esphome library. I added a L289N motor controller to manage an encoded motor. I created a 3D printed enclosure and custom 3D printed gears for the motor.

Challenges we ran into

The ESP32 is a very finicky board that required many hours of debugging to get working. Figuring out a feedback loop system similar to PID for the motor encoder and the motor driver is a huge challenge. Also figuring out what gear size and ratio to 3D print that fits my current blinds was a tedious trial and error process.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

I am proud that I was able to create a working smart home blind system using an existing open source library in a way that was not done before.

What we learned

This is my first every hardware hackathon and I learned how motors, motor encoders, microcontrollers, PWM, and PID work. I also learned how to solder!

What's next for IoT Smart Home Blinds

The next step for my hack is to change jumper wires to substantial AWG wires and package up my project in a more robust manner.

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