Code Play a software blog by tim benke

Tinkering with Arduino

I’ve done some basic tinkering with Arduino. This is a simple scaled down computer, that allows you to quickly build prototypes of small devices. It’s quite hard to define the kind of devices you can build, because you can connect any external sensor or actuator, you can imagine. I’ve heard of a guy that attached a small web server to his washing machine’s LED to be notified when the machines is done. That way he could save himself from checking the machine in his basement, only to realize that it hasn’t finished yet.

My whole motivation for this, is to use it for home automation and to design stuff myself. The design part is interesting to me, because it seems that you pay such a high premium for nice and simple design, that I find it extremely annoying. All our home electronics are made in China right now and design does not seem to be their forte yet. Look a these small alarm clocks, weather sensors or dvd players: You always have too many buttons and too much information: I don’t need the humidity and the temperature on my alarm clock. I just want one information from a clock: the time. So this is going to one of my goals: design a very simple alarm clock. Otherwise I am open to suggestions, but I’ll definitely find some great stuff to play with.