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Senior Project - RedwOOD

 

Infra-Red Controller Software for Home Automation

Senior Project: 2000-2001
Paul Ferguson, Randall Flint, Benjamin Munger and Reid Simonton

Web Mountain Technologies is a Colorado-based business developing communication products for the small office, home office, and residential environments. Their NetPlace product provides a homeowner with a simple, common sense home automation system. The existing product controls various electrical components in homes via the X.10 protocol. A server acts as the controlling unit for all actions performed on these components. A GUI, running from any web browser, can be used to control devices from remote locations as well as from inside the user's home.

One problem Web Mountain developers faced is the problem of controlling audio/video equipment that does not have an industry standard for communication between components. One way to solve this problem was through the use of infrared (IR) signals. The goal of the project was to add IR control to NetPlace.

The core of the project entailed programming a digital signal processor (DSP) on a PCI card to decode infrared signals and relay them to the server. The server then locates this signal in a database and sends the corresponding signal out to the appropriate device. Each home or small business would have a NetPlace server (containing the PCI card) that has central control over all audio and video infrared devices.

The server has two operating states, a Learn mode and a Play mode. In the initial Learn mode, the server "learns" the infrared remote signals and populates the database. In Play mode, the server regenerates these stored IR signals and sends them out to the proper device. The existing user interface that controls appliances and lights currently will be updated by Web Mountain to accommodate the new IR components. The DSP is programmed in low-level C, while the user interface is programmed in HTML and Perl.

 
See also:
Department of Computer Science
College of Engineering and Applied Science
University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0430 USA
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May 5, 2012 (14:07)
 
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