Full Project – Design of an IoT-based smart home using Amazon Alexa
This project is centred on a smart home design using the Internet-Of-Things (IoT) paradigm. The IoT paradigm is an emerging network and communication development platform which broadly refers to networks of physical objects(things) which are embedded with sensors, software and other technologies for the purpose of connecting and exchanging data with other devices and systems over the internet. The home system is designed using Amazon Alexa and Wi-Fi supported devices. The Amazon Alexa AI in conjunction with Wi-Fi communication protocols were chosen because of their quality in present day as well as flexibility and features for developing smart buildings. The system was also tested at the end of the project in order to observe its effectiveness and feasibility, and functionality.
The concept of the smart home is often considered a high point of the Internet-Of-Things (IoT) paradigm. “Internet-Of-Things” as described by Rouse Margaret (2019) generally refers to networks of physical objects(things) that are embedded with sensors, software and other technologies for the purpose of connecting and exchanging data with other devices and systems over the internet. These devices are usually connected with one or more of the following: Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi), Radio-Frequency identification (RFID) and mesh nets. The smart home like many other IoT technology implementations such as Edge computing, IoT cloud development and IoT operating system, relies on the convergence of multiple technologies such as real-time analytics, machine learning, commodity sensors, embedded systems, wireless sensor networks, home and building automation.
The smart home features devices and appliances such as smart TVs, smart lighting features, smart thermostats, smart home security systems and smart cameras which all support one or more common ecosystems can be controlled via devices associated with the ecosystem such as smartphone and smart speakers. For this project, the Amazon Alexa is used as the base Artificial Intelligence software on which every other device function in the ecosystem.
With the constant evolution of the world in terms of technology such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine learning and data mining, there is also a platform for the housing industry, hence, the IoT based smart homes. Apart from the obvious technological trend, it is also a way to solve certain issues relating to housing and housing safety for example, homes of the elderly and the physically and mentally challenged. The smart home offers a robust solution to problems such as security and safety issues due to its simple architecture.
This study was motivated by the trends in technology advancements to take advantage of its immense opportunities to improve on safety and security of the basic need of life of shelter. An additional motivation is that there is need for a home system where by physically and mentally challenged individuals would be able to interact with intelligent systems to provide assistance and reduce mishaps.
The study aims to create and build a working and automatic improving smart home system with the basic features of comfort, security and functionality.
The project was implemented using the Amazon Alexa AI and individual devices including Amazon Echo Dot speaker, Arlo Pro 3, Ring peephole cam, Ecobee smart thermostat, Amazon Echo Show 8, August Wi-Fi smart lock, Simplisafe security system, Phillips Hue White LED bulbs, TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini and Amazon Echo Flex.
The study covers a typical single home design. It uses flexible devices in order to cover existing non smart homes which can be fitted with smart home devices. For this study, Amazon Alexa Personal Digital Assistant is used as the base technology over which each individual smart home device will be functional.
The study capitalizes on IoT paradigm which core principle is on the basis of bringing ordinary home appliances to life through Artificial Intelligence. It also helps to examine possible future implementations of this relatively new communication paradigm.
- INTERNET-OF-THINGS: This generally and broadly refers to a physical network of connected devices containing embedded software and technology over which the said devices can communicate and interact even with humans.
- ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: Artificial Intelligence, AI for short, refers to intelligence possessed by machines as opposed to the natural intelligence possessed by humans. Artificial Intelligence enables machines to perform cognitive functions only associated with humans.
- MACHINE LEARNING: This is a subset/application of Artificial Intelligence. It studies and implements algorithms that can improve automatically through experience. An ideal smart home should be able to improve based on the users’ constant usage of the system.
- IOT ECOSYSTEM: This is a broad network of connected and interdependent devices and technologies that are applied by specialists towards a specific goal, such as the creation of a smart home and more largely, a smart city.
- SMART HOME: This refers to a house or generally a building equipped with machine learning based devices which respond to human interaction and improves based on the constant use and experience of said users.
Chapter One gives a brief overview of the components of the project design, it talks about the problem e are about to solve, the motivations and the objectives Chapter Two examines related research work in the area of the IoT paradigm and smart homes specifically. We study the advantages as well as the drawbacks of building such a system. We would then see in Chapter Three, the system architecture and modules in details. The implementation is then seen in Chapter Four showing the various tools used in the implementation. It also presents the result of testing carried out. Chapter Five then rounds off the project work with the summary, conclusions and recommendations for future research.
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Full Project – Design of an IoT-based smart home using Amazon Alexa