It’s been weeks that I’ve been patiently counting down for the HomeSense research project to begin.
And here they were Georgina and Daniel at my doorstep. Welcome to Geneva!
After a morning coffee, brief introduction, Daniel started with exhaustive research-kit demonstration. He placed the kit right in front of me and it reminded me on a big box of chocolates. All the components were neatly arranged in lines&raws, just like real candies are. Here they were all kinds of sensors, wires, LEDs, buzzer, position controllers, LCD display… what else – oh yes… the HomeSense ‘bible’ aka ResearchBook containing prototype examples, explanations, some theory, useful links… shortly – my study literature. It didn’t take me long to start plugging the first sensors to the connector hub, testing them to see how they work, what they do, knowing about the safety precautions (Buzzer can kill your ears. Confirmed.) and to get an idea about how to use them in my future projects… So, the fun began.
The afternoon was dedicated to brainstorming, testing, first prototyping… and with generous help of two local experts David and Théo nothing seemed to be impossible. They kindly introduced me to the basics of Arduino code writing and helped me to understand the numerous possibilities we have in order to create real state of art prototypes.
And since we were all eager to build at least one working prototype before dinner time, we decided to put together a simple ‘alarm’ that could remind me to shut down the lights in my corridor when I leave them on for more than 2 minutes. To build it we used the light sensor, the buzzer and some code in Arduino defining the timer and melody of the alarm. And who would have thought that this octopus like object would work just perfectly. Mission accomplished.
Potential next step – making this alarm visually more attractive and maybe even more intelligent. Théo had some interesting ideas… But more about them next time. I’m off to buy some duct tape and electrical extension cords.