The Problem

The IOT platforms that exist out there are not cheap and not every house could afford a Nest or other such products to control their fans and lights remotely. Also the existing IOT solution, you would require to the the proprietary fans, lights from that company to connect it to their platform, so people would require to buy new products just to connect their appliances to the internet with their platform. Since it is also extremely expensive for everyone to use it not many people want to buy these products. Also all existing IOT platforms are all closed-source which means that developers are given limited functionality to the platform.

Our Solution

We wanted to build a completely open source solution and would like to is be scalable and cheap at the same time and mainly to be easily attached to devices in the house which people already have. Hence, we developed IoTomate at HackIndia. It is build completely on Bluemix's Node.js container which makes it extremely scalable. We will be providing an open source API to our platform so developers and the open source community can easily adopt to our solution.

Our hardware is build fully on the esp8266 wifi chip which costs retail 2.5$ and relay and other sensors to a max of 5$, this makes it extremely cost effective for the everyday house.

Project description :

IoTomate is an app that allows the end user to automatically manage his appliances indoors via the use of sensor modules. Using our app, that interfaces with our backend API, the user can add appliances, or sensors and remove them, and then tie them up as a trigger in any combination feasible. These triggers work by creating a condition with the sensor information and then turning an appliance on or off if that condition is true.

The project offers a common solution to the customer, where he can use the same app to manage appliances in more than one space. As a relatable example, an office and a home can both have their appliances managed by the same app.

The backend runs on Bluemix, which is a future proof platform, where in case of a rise in users, the servers can simply be expanded to accommodate them instead of making changes in the code or specifications.

This is a low budget project where all components/services required will not cost the user more than Rs. 300. This offers a much more affordable solution as opposed to other competitors in this field.

What makes us different from other IOT solutions:

  1. *Open Source: *since we are built completely open source, we have the full open source community improving our code and support from them.
  2. *REST API:*The API is scalable and carries out all the functions required in the cloud to provide these services. Using the API, devices can be added or removed, sensors can be added or removed, triggers can be added or removed,, the status of sensors can be fetched, the status of appliances can get fetched and remotely set and the list of devices and triggers can be fetched.
  3. *IFTT Support: *We will soon be publishing IF THIS THEN THAT support, with their huge collection of libraries and recipe's. This would be really feasible for the end-user.
  4. Completely Cloud Based: Since our back-end is on the cloud, the moment any trigger is set (say, turn lights on at 2 pm) the trigger in pushed to the cloud and the cloud will automatically sent a req to the appliance at 2pm.
  5. *Low Budget: *Sensor/Applicance hub is built completely on the esp8266 which is a 2.5$ which makes our solution extremely cost effective for the end user <Rs300. Which would mean that any user could easily add home automation to their homes for a fraction of the price of other companies.

Our API Spec's are available on this page and the server is running. You can test it by sending a post to our API using the API spec from this sheet :

Node-Red on Bluemix: Demo: We had a full working demo with sensor updating to the cloud, our primitive android app receiving this data. The user can then set triggers (ex, turn fan on when temp >50 degrees), the app will post to out to the cloud instance on bluemix and it will decide when to send data to our fan to turn it on whenever necessary.

We have included some pictures of our bluemix node.js container running node-red and pictures of the sensors. Sensor Hub and Appliance Switching:

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