top band

Friday 2:35 p.m.–3:05 p.m.

Make your own Smart Air Conditioner

Miriam Lauter

Audience level:


Looking for a fun, useful Raspberry Pi project? Want to connect your household appliances to the internet? Come learn how to build your own 'smart' air conditioner using a Raspberry Pi, a bit of hardware, and, of course, Python. Plus, you can save energy and never have to come home to a sweltering bedroom again.


What with the proliferation of device/applications for remotely controlling everything from your lights to your coffee maker, and with the release of HomeKit in iOS 8, it's clear that companies big and small are getting into the home-automation game. But why just not do it yourself? In this talk, I'll show you everything you need to know to turn your boring window-unit air conditioner into a wifi-enabled, remotely controllable smart-thermostat. With a couple components, a Raspberry Pi, and some handy Python libraries, you'll not only have the tools to make yourself a Smart AC, you'll be able to execute other cool home-automation projects you've dreamed up. (I'm thinking an alarm for the morning that starts my coffee pot.) You do not need to have any previous experience with Raspberry Pi or hardware projects! I'll go over the simple circuits you'll make, tips for debugging hardware, and the libraries you'll need. I’ll also cover how to set up a simple flask server that will allow you to communicate with your device from your web browser. I'll wrap up the talk with pointers to some excellent resources and a quick video demo of my Smart AC in action.
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