Saturday, April 4, 2020

Building a kiosk for Home Assistant from scrap parts

It is great to have automation in the house providing increments of comfort such as eliminating manual tasks like cleaning the floor, or to aid in managing the energy consumption by turning off lights and appliances which are not in use, or in the safety side, by providing intrusion detection or monitoring the presence of gas leaks or other hazards, and executing the adequate actions.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Tasmota-based multi-channel air quality sensor station

The sense of smell is an amazing function in vertebrate animals. Even the human nose, which is not particularly notable in comparison with other animals, is fascinating in its sensitivity to trace amounts of a large variety of substances. It has a level of selectivity and capability of distinguishing between different kinds of smells, which is very difficult to match by even the most sophisticated artificial sensors.

Having as the main motivation the enrichment of the IoT gadgetry sitting around in my house (and eventually fill up an entire network address range), I found that (after the motion and entrance detection device), an interesting device to invest time on would be something capable of sensing multiple air quality parameters at the same time.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Trying to make the most out of Home Assistant + rooted Xiaomi vacuum cleaner + Valetudo

After some time using HA (, and even longer using the Xiaomi Roborock (first generation) vacuum cleaner, I kind of felt a certain discomfort in keeping this robot in a stock setup. Sticking to the original firmware meant having a device that is permanently connected to a chinese cloud service, and without the user awareness it sends many megabytes of data daily to this service. Also it meant that integration and features via a platform such as Home Assistant, are limited.

One feature that I fancied for some time was the ability to define zones, and instuct the robot to go to these predefined zones on demand.