The “Internet of things” (IoT) is becoming an increasingly growing topic of conversation in the entire tech industry. With Broadband Internet becoming more and more accessible, the cost of connectivity is dramatically decreasing and mobile devices like smartphones have a sky-rocketed its penetration to the market. All of these things are creating a “perfect storm” for the IoT. However, many of our current household Infrared (IR) controlled appliances are “traditionally dumb” devices that are not internet capable. Thus, the problem arises when we aspire to come up with a scalable approach to empower these devices with IoT capabilities under affordable cost and extensive add-on values.
Have you ever run into the problem of not being able to find that remote control lying somewhere under the couch to turn on your TV? Or too many remote controls and you don’t know which one corresponds to which device? Have you imagined being able to turn on your AC just before you got home on a hot summer day? With so many domestic appliances controlled by IR remote control, we decided to create IR MAN to make our life easier by designing a smart IoT IR Control Hub that allows your smartphone to remotely control all the traditionally dumb or non-internet-enabled IR domestic appliances through the IR Man WebApp.
The solution proposed in this paper, IR MAN, aims to solve the aforementioned problems such that the remote control is truly “remote” and all home appliances are automatically upgraded to “IoT devices” with minimal cost. And more importantly, IR MAN is an interactive humanoid robot that actively locates the household appliances in your house using computer vision (CV) and plans motions accordingly to reorient the IR emitter to accurately “shoot” the IR command signals at it like a real Iron Man.
This is our F19 Senior Capstone Project for Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE) at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU).
IR MAN is brought to you by Jiaqi Zou, Max Bai, Shirley Zhang.