Home automation from 50 miles away – with a Raspberry Pi

Simon Maple and Andy Stanford-Clark, Friends of Pi from IBM, have been having a lot of fun with Andy’s house, which is networked and monitored up to the rafters. They’ve added a Raspberry Pi, IBM’s Liberty Profile, and Really Small Message Broker for sending telemetry-type data using MQTT. The result is a great little tech demo where Simon turns Andy’s pond fountain and heated towel rail on and off remotely from his own house 50 miles and a stretch of sea away, watching energy usage fluctuate in real time; he can even check the levels in Andy’s oil tank. This is brilliant: lightweight software running on lightweight hardware, doing some really useful stuff.

I do not think I’ve ever found a towel rail so interesting; I love seeing demos like this with so many real-world applications.

Massive thanks to Simon and Andy for all their work on this (there’s more on Simon’s blog), and especially to Simon for being such a fantastic pi-vangelist. Everybody else: if you’re reading this and have come up with a Raspberry Pi demo you think we’d be interested in, please email me (my details are available on the Contacts page). We’re always looking for new projects to feature here on the blog.