My Final(July 23, 2016):
For my final project I utilized the IFTTT(If this then that) API so that I could connect the publishing of my Particle Photon microcontroller’s variables in the cloud to my personal Gmail. For users who might not find it convenient to talk to Alexa: they can instead receive an email notification with the published dust density. The IFTTT is a software that connects API’s and has many applications with Particle’s photon. In the future, I plan on utilizing Particle Photon, Amazon Echo, and IFTTT to create applications contributing to the idea of Smart Home Innovation.
My Second Milestone(July 17, 2016):
My second milestone is integrating a dust sensor and the Particle Photon micro controller into a breadboard and having Alexa utter the dust density read by the Particle micro controller. Similar to before, we have Particle put the variable read into the Particle’s location in the cloud and Alexa is given the location to that variable and she is able to read the data. My intent for this component is for users who are more sensitive to air quality to be able to ask Alexa for the dust density and Alexa would give the density in micrograms per meter cubed and then offer a suggestion based on that density compared with an approximation that has been found by Asthma and Allergen specialists. For my next milestone I intend on using Google Drive’s Api to perhaps keep track of the dust densities of different locations while also keeping track of the location as well.
My First Milestone(June 30, 2016):
My main intensive project is essentially Home Automation with Amazon’s Alexa and Particle. For my first milestone I have integrated the Particle Photon, a DHT22(temp and humidity) sensor and some leds into a breadboard. Particle Photon is a wifi enabled microcontroller and is used to communicate with the cloud which in turn communicates to Alexa. This is an Alexa skills kit and therefore has Sample Utterances, these utterances are allocated with specific EventHandlers in our code and that event handler sends a message to the cloud which is then received by the Particle. The code is uploaded to AWS Lambda which is an event driven service, that event being the user talking to Alexa. The particle has DHT library code which takes temperature and humidity readings from the DHT sensor and conveys them to the Particle’s location in the Cloud and sends the message back to Alexa which relays the temperature to the user. Important lines of code that should be noted and explained are like
Particle.prototype.eventHandlers.onLaunch = function (launchRequest, session, response)
This is an event handler and is triggered by user speech and the output is denoted by a var of type string.
var speechOutput = “Particle is Open”;
For my next milestone I plan on integrating another sensor that can measure air quality and having Alexa give specific responses based on that information.
Starter Project: Tv-B-Gone
The Tv-B-gone was originally introduced as a commercial product by Mitch Altman. The starter-kit also designed by him was my starter project for Bluestamp Engineering. Essentially, all TV’s use some form of infrared light encoded information to translate commands between the remote and the TV. When the user wants to lower the volume, there is a certain set of infrared light information that is sent to the TV from the remote. In the TV-B-Gone, the microprocessor contains all the different “turn-off” codes for the different TVs from manufacturers and that information is relayed to the set of infrared lights on the circuitboard. When we turn on the switch, the battery component provides a potential difference across the circuit which is needed for current to flow. The infrared LEDs contain little to no resistance and therefore we need the traditional Brown-Black-Red resistors to dissipate some of the current in the circuit, along with the transistors both of these components help regulate current in the circuit. The ceramic resonators translate information from the microprocessor and are sent through the transistors and to the infrared lights, telling them how to blink. One of the huge takeaways from my starter project was that when soldering the leads on the back of the circuit board, you can’t just solder them all together because that will short circuit the board rendering it useless.