October 13th, 2021—
Being able to design your own custom smart home device is a great way to both have fun experimenting with various hardware/software and to escape the walled IoT device ecosystems that so many users find themselves trapped within. One maker who goes by mrdesha came up with a smart heater solution that utilizes the new Arduino Oplà IoT Kit to provide voice functionality to their room heater.
In terms of hardware, mrdesha’s project is quite simple as it just needs a few parts to function. The main component is the MKR IoT Carrier board from the Oplà Kit, along with the MKR WiFi 1010 that fits into it. Because the Oplà has two relays onboard, a pair of buttons on the heater’s remote were connected to the common (COM) and normally closed (NC) terminals, allowing for a single GPIO pin to digitally “press” each button.
Over in the Arduino Cloud, three variables were created that control various aspects of the heater, including on/off, set high-power mode, and set low-power mode. These variables are also all compatible with the Alexa integration, meaning that a user can simply tell their smart home speaker to adjust the heater automatically.
For more details about the project, you can view mrdesha’s write-up here and a demo of it in the video below.