Project 1: Arduino-Powered Bathroom Vacancy Light, PART I
I have finally decided to start a project with Arduino and… as I am a problem-solver, I have decided to learn as I go and solve a problem at the same time.
I live in a 3 bedroom apartment that I share with two other roommates. They are wonderful people, however, we all share a similar morning schedule and I often find myself pulling myself out of bed and zombie-walking to the hallway only to find the bathroom occupied. I am not at all a morning person, so you can see why this situation is less than ideal. Do I get back in bed and check again in 5 minutes and risk losing the bathroom AGAIN to my other roommate or do I just sit in the hallway and wait for it to be vacant again?
THE PROPOSED SOLUTION
The ideal solution would be to have an airplane-style lavatory vacancy light… in my bedroom. Crazy? Probably. Awesome? Incredibly so!
I think this will ultimately involve using 2 Arduinos—one equipped with a WiShield and a magnetic contact switch attached to the bathroom door that writes or logs a true/false value to my web server, and the other reading data from my server (with another WiShield?) and controlling the alert light attached to the inside of my bedroom wall.
This is my first foray into microcontrollers… and electronics, really… so any and all feedback is greatly appreciated! I am still in research mode and am in the process of drafting a real plan with this blog post acting as my first draft/official project proposal.
Stay tuned for more updates along the way…