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Smart AngelBlocks stops you from screwing up at home

Posted April 18, 2014

angelblocksPeel and stick open source smart system gives anything in your home a higher IQ. Go way beyond light and appliance control. Wirelessly.

AngelBlocks are a cost effective, comprehensive set of wireless building blocks that work together to make your home smart, securing your property, protecting your family, and making your life easier and more comfortable. AngelBlocks can communicate 1000 feet indoors and 2 miles outdoors and operate for 5 years from a set of batteries: they are a truly unique approach to smart home technology.

AngelBLOCKs are small, inexpensive, and wireless so they can be put anywhere and everywhere. They cooperatively monitor their environment, watching for changes that could indicate a problem or situation that needs attention or action.

When a change or a problem is detected, they can notify you directly using built in speech synthesis as well as messaging via the Internet. AngelBlocks can actively change their environment, turning water on and off, locking and unlocking doors, controlling appliances, setting the thermostat, and much more.

Using AngelTags, AngelBlocks can track the presence of people, pets, and things, creating an environmental user interface that you can use to control your home simply by moving around it. AngelBlocks can automatically turn off appliances and lights when you leave the room, saving energy. They can also detect when you leave home and shut your garage door, lock your doors, turn off dangerous appliances, and activate your security system.

AngelBlocks will absorb most existing smart home technologies, using their sensory and responsive capabilities to augment the intelligent behavior of the system. Out of the box, we integrate with WeMo, Ninja, Philips Hue and RadioThermoStat. The AngelBridge, an add-on-card for the AngelGate, adds support for Z-Wave and Zigbee. Insteon support will be a stretch goal.

Intelligence is created using simple “when this happens then do that” behavior rules.  As new AngelBlocks are added to the system, these rules are automatically generated for you, making installation simple and quick.  You have complete control over your home and can easily modify behavior rules with a few finger swipes on a smart phone.

Specialized rules system supports global variables, allowing you to create operating modes for your home (away, home, kidshome, etc) that customize how your home behaves based on, for example, who is home.

AngelBlocks can communicate with you directly using speech synthesis built into each block, by sending messages to your electronic devices, and by directly manipulating your environment (eg. flashing your bedroom lights).

AngelBlocks are equipped with a gesture engine that can recognize simple gestures such as tapping and shaking.  You can use these gestures to communicate with the system or to control lights and appliances.

All AngelBlock functions and configuration can be accessed using any browser enabled smart phone, tablet, or PC.  You can use these devices to control your system when you are away from home or to install and configure new AngelBlocks.

At its core, AngelBLOCKs are eminently hackable.  As an open source hardware and software technology, you will have everything you need to customize and extend AngelBLOCKs.  MakerBLOCK allows you to connect your own circuitry to an AngelBLOCK for custom applications.  Signals are provided for UART, SPI, I2C, 10-bit A/D, and digital IO.  Click here for more technical info about our maker kits.

Developers say you might want to control your AngelBLOCKs with your own hardware or software. To make that possible they offer maker kits. These kits are available for Arduino (and footprint compatible SBC), Raspberry Pi, and PC/MAC.  In each case, you get an appropriate adapter board with the RF circuitry to control AngelBLOCKs and one MakerBLOCK for the low pledge price of only $75 (if you are quick, you can pick up an early bird special for $60).

Source: Project page on Kickstarter

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