Developing an intelligent, modular home automation system

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Szabó Zoltán
Department of Automation and Applied Informatics

In parallel with the developments in the field of microelectronics, intelligent, microprocessor-based, autonomously operating devices appeared in our everyday life. Thanks to the „Internet of Things” development trends, more and more companies pay attention to home and builduing automation. Although all the technology is at hand to create a multifunctional, easy-to-use system that makes our life more comfortable as well as our homes more efficient, no one have reached a breakthrough in this field yet. This is mainly of the complexity of the task and the difficulties of system-level design.

The aim of this thesis is to investigate the possibilities and problems of creating a home automation system. After examining the general requirements of such a system, a concept of a modular system architecture is worked out, which enables to build a scalable and easily configurable automation system that really can fit the users’ needs.

When dealing with the development of distributed embedded systems, it is very important to carefully design the communication between the connected nodes. Therefore I prepared the first unit of the designed system, a communication gateway module, to examine the different communication options in practice. Beside the details of the hardware design, the main points of the operating embedded software system and the developped communication protocoll is also presented in the thesis. The modularly designed firmware is based on FreeRTOS real-time kernel, LwIP TCP/IP stack and STemWin GUI Library, which all available free of charge. To make it easier to configure and monitor the system, a Windows application is also created in C# language, based on .NET and WinForms technologies.

At the end of the paper, the structure of a simple test system is also discussed shortly. This environment provides an opportunity to test the capabilities and present the functionality of the designed system and the implemented hardware unit.


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