Today, the use of smart tools and automation is gaining popularity, and wireless data transmission is essential for their use. Whether it's home or our workplace, we use day-to-day electronic devices and equipment that need some wireless communication to work together.
Bluetooth SIG issued a new standard for Bluetooth Mesh in 2017. With its release, several new opportunities for developing smart homes and building automation have been introduced. This innovative technology has been developed to coordinate the growing number of smart devices and sensors. It can be used to bridge the distance limits and thousands of devices can be controlled at the same time safely and with low consumption.
This new technology motivated me to implement a Bluetooth Mesh network for home automation as my thesis. I wanted to create a network that includes a measurement and control device. I found it important for the network to be user-controlled with either a non-networked device, such as a smartphone.
For the task I needed to get acquainted with Bluetooth Low Energy and the Bluetooth Mesh protocol. After the study, I used Silicon Labs' EFR32 Blue Gecko Bluetooth chips as a tool, with a well-supported development system and stack. I've also created a user application for more convenient control. This is implemented on a Raspberry Pi 3 model, because it has a built-in Bluetooth module, and has a low cost and broad support.
During my work, I created a prototype Bluetooth Mesh network consisting of four server nodes and a client node. With Raspberry, you can control LEDs on the server node and measure the temperature. The measurement data is transmitted by the client node to Raspberry, which uploads them to a cloud-based service in Google Spreadsheets.