Use a Telegram Bot to talk with your Smart Home Automation

Telegram is a great way to receive home assistant (HASS) smart home automation information directly pushed to your Android or iPhone. By creating your own Telegram bot you get a lot of flexibility on sending home automation messages or even images from your security cameras to your mobile phone.

The first step of attaching a Telegram bot with your own home assistant (HASS) environment is to create your own Telegram bot. Contact the BotFather in Telegram as it is shown below and follow the creation wizard to receive your bot secret.

Then configure your Home assistant system to communicate with your newly created bot, as it is shown below:

# Example configuration.yaml entry for the Telegram Bot

telegram_bot:

  – platform: polling

    api_key: !secret telegram

    allowed_chat_ids:

      – 123456789

      – 123456780

As a result you can extend all your Home assistant automation scripts to use your own Telegram bot to send out important notifications and images to your phone, as it is shown below:

Read more about Telegram integration and how to automate your home with the open source Home assistant platform within my own ebook available at Amazon.

Open Source Home Automation with Esp32 and Home Assistant (Hass.io)

ebook Open Source Home Automation - Introduction to Home assistant and Esp32 based automation

As a dedicated Home Assistant user for years now, I came to write an ebook covering all the important topics around home automation and tinkering your own Esp32 based
sensors and actuators. Home Assistant is Open Source, written in Python and a lively community maintains over 3000 custom made components that allow you to control nearly everything in your home.
For everything else there is the cheap and handy Esp32 or ESP8266 microcontroller that comes with builtin wireless network support and the capability to control any hardware you can think of.
Soldering your own ESP8266 based sensors is really fun and allows you to add a lot of flexibility to your home automation. With a very low price tag of 5$ the ESP8266 microcontroller is a practical basis for all your custom made sensors and actuators.
Read more about the details on how to solder your own sensors and how to attach them to your own home assistant system in my brand new eBook: ‘Open Source Home Automation‘.

Philips Hue Connected Light Bulbs

Philips and Apple’s ambilight technology appeared on the market already some years ago and despite it’s incredible cool design Philips and Apple are going a little bit further by introducing Hue light bulbs. Hue light bulbs are directly connected and can be controlled by your mobile iPhone or iPad. The user is able to create light settings based on favourite photos, or to choose from expert light recipes to help you relax or concentrate, or even set timers to help you wake up and pace your day. According to it’s direct control and its flexible lighning settings there will surely be countless application possibilities for this new Philips Hue bulbs in a makers home. All you need to start connecting your home’s lightning scenes is to buy a Philips Apple Hue Starter Kit which comes with a bridge and three bulbs and costs 199$ within the Apple store.

Philips Apple Hue Light

Twine: The Internet of Things for your own Use

Twine - eine kleine Box mit Sensoren und WLAN zum Einbinden von beliebigen Dingen ins Internet (Bild: Supermechanical)

Twine, one of the first Kickstarter projects dealing with specific hardware to connect sensors and aktuators with the Internet, is starting to ship the first bundles these days. For around $100 you can buy a Twine box, that is shown above, that offers WLAN and a multitude of different sensors to check the status of your house or any other real world object you can think of. It runs on two batteries that should offer enough energy to keep Twine up for more than two month.

Another interesting feature is the Web interface Twine offers for specifying event condition action rules for reacting on user defined situations, without programming. The Web interface and ECA rules look quite similar to Microsoft’s On{X} Android App, which we discussed some month ago.

LOXONE – A simple solution for smart home automation

Loxone Electronics GmbHThe LOXONE miniserver is the centerpiece for a very simple and intuitive home automation system, which can be used to retrofit existing home electricity installations. It allows you to control all things in and around your home. Ranging from simple blind control to intelligent and cost-efficient zoned heating systems.

The LOXONE system is conveniently installed in your consumer unit and linked to the home network. It monitors various inputs, such as switches, motion detectors, door contacts, smart phones and is able to control all your actuator devices, like blinds, lighting, heating.

Motion-Activated Sprinkler

Look at Phil Tucker’s motion-detect sprinkler home defense system, it activates upon any motion and starts a sprinkler in your garden. Phil defends his garden against dogs and cats, which permanently poop into. So he built this nice device which is based on an Arduino microcontroller. It can be completely controlled by a smartphone too.

Testing a motion activate sprinkler. A TRENDnet IP camera triggers a GPIO output read by an Arduino which then triggers a relay/solenoid valve to turn on a sprinkler. IP camera already records video and sends email alerts.