Domotics, or home automation, is a topic increasingly being addressed: efficient smart houses that integrate cutting edge technology and services for a better quality of life.
But what exactly are we talking about?
Created in the late ‘80s, the word domotics was born by joining the word domus (“house” in Latin) and the word robotics. It indicates an interdisciplinary science whose purpose is to make the traditional plant building and design technologies – which are already being used in the construction of buildings, and the innovative building technologies, in order to achieve new and modern functionalities.
We are talking about a new way of approaching and designing home wiring by improving the performance of the already existing wiring systems of a house, optimizing their consumption and allowing for the integration of several functions such as security, comfort and energy saving.
An anthropized environment can therefore be fully controlled with the use of a wide range of technologies: computers, touchscreen, smartphones, tablets or remote controls and specific keyboards.
Thanks to this system, your house becomes “smart” and has more innovative plants than a traditionally built house.
What can domotics do?
Home automation gives you the chance to control, monitor and access electric/electronic devices like:
1) Rolling shutters closers and openers
2) Turning on/off your air conditioner and controlling its power consumption
3) Door/gate openers and closers
4) Controlling the lights
5) Controlling your surveillance systems
6)… and many more!
What are the advantages of this technology?
From an environmental perspective, according to some estimates, since the installed system manages power consumptions on its own consumers could reduce energy usage by 10-30%. (source)
Furthermore, house automation systems are very valuable in helping both elders and disabled people and allow users to manage their house with the least amount of effort and the maximum amount of security. In fact, domotics allows you to control all those chores that sometimes can become genuine problems.
This technology has been invented to be used by everyone. This is the ideal on which Giorgia Sperandio designed Hands(H)ome, a prototype of a home automation control panel, a method of control invented for easy access to the functions of your home, perfect for elderly people or people with physical disabilities (vision problems, ear disorders or ambulation problems). The prototype, in fact, has been designed specially for blind and deaf people.
The interface presents several feedbacks (auditory and tactile) in order to improve the usability of the system. This way it is possible to have a useful and easy-to-use tool for managing the functionalities of your house from a single customizable panel.
Why was this project born?
As many of you may know, installing a home automation system, despite being advantageous, is expensive. the purpose of Hands(H)ome is not only to provide a simplified home automation prototype everyone can use, but also to offer its users an innovative technology at an affordable price.
The idea behind this project, realized with low-cost materials and electronics, is that everyone can access programming and design files, so the technology of the product can be reproduced and improved by whoever wants to propose his/her own implementation. The entire project has been realized with 2D and 3D modeling, 3D printing and laser cutting. As the programming, the developers have used a microcontroller Arduino Mega 2560.
To make the project even more accessible, Giorgia has published a book, which can be purchased from the website Sandit Libri, that helps you build your own Hands(H)ome.
What about you? Do you have a home automation system or are you thinking about installing one?
In my spare time I write for my art blog called Martineken and I keep pursuing my interest by doing graphic concepts and mock-ups.
Latest posts by Martina Cavalieri (see all)
- 3DPhotoWorks: tactile artwork for the blind and visually impaired - October 18, 2016
- ‘Please Touch the Art’: a blind man reacts to touching his portrait for the first time. - September 30, 2016
- Hands(H)ome: domotics for everyone - September 28, 2016
Questo articolo è disponibile anche in: Italian