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Cosmos

Abstract

Internet of Things (IoT) is a burgeoning field, which is the next big thing in the world of automation. IoT devices usually have a universal application as they are not constrained to any one particular domain. It has a broad appeal in fields ranging from Hospitals, Offices, Hotels, Airports to even our very home. However, it has been known how expensive these individual devices tend to get.

The idea of Cosmos, in brief, is to make affordable custom IoT endpoints that can be managed via a single device or custom-designed interface. These devices could be any iOS, Android, or any smart device which can access the local wireless network in the desired automation environment. These devices can then manage the endpoints, most of which would be designed from scratch. Few examples of the managed endpoints that are developed are connected switches, weather and ambient station, and smart locks,

Video Pitch

Why Cosmos?

While deciding the name for the project, I wanted to encapsulate the vision that I had for the project — simplifying a complex system with an orderly fashion. Cosmos, in its literal term, is a Greek word meaning 'order' usually used to describe the universe or the world. The name Cosmos was selected for this project because I envisioned bringing some amount of order to the world of the Internet of Things.

Cosmos was the first project I gave a name, and I have been giving names to my projects ever since. In my view, it offers a certain character to the project and gives me a sense of ownership and responsibility to work towards it with utmost passion and curiosity.

Tools & Technology

Several tools and technologies are utilized for the project. MQTT and Raspberry Pi 3 (Rpi3) are the basic blocks on which the entire project was built on, wherein the individual IoT modules would send the updates as MQTT messages to the Rpi3. OpenHab is an OpenSource home automation software, which helped create a synergy between MQTT and Rpi3. InfluxDB is a time-series database used in conjunction with Grafana for visualization of the data from the IoT devices. Fritzing is an open source hardware initiative, that makes designing printed circuit boards easy. Finally, a mobile application was developed for intuitive user experience along with integration with voice assistants — Alexa and Siri.

Cosmos - Adding things to Cosmos

Key Learnings

Cosmos: A ubiquitous automation solution has been an enabling factor in exploring new horizons in IoT, both in terms of hardware design and programming logic. The goal of the project has been to design affordable and ubiquitous end-points that are not limited to a particular automation environment. Initial modules like the intrusion sensor, and the fire sensor allowed for simple integration of everyday use-cases with the internet. Modules like the weather station and ambient station explored the avenues for data retention and visualization for prospects of integrating artificial intelligence into the project. Modules like the connected switches, smart LEDs, window blinds, and irrigation system allowed for state managements the connected end-points both locally and from outside the network through the use of a public IP address. Finally, the smart lock gave way to the possibilities of enhanced security authentication for access control.