Cloudwash – Creating the Technical Prototype

How to build a IoT device? Cloudwash – Creating the Technical Prototype is an interesting project description how to design and build a connected washing machine. Cloudwash developers understood that to understand and design for this type of device, the designers need to have a working technical prototype that allows experimenting and getting experience.

So before creating the actual Design Prototype, a Technical Prototype of adding connectivity to a washing machine had to be built. For that Cloudwash developers thought three possible approaches:

  1. To modify and control the main sensor/actuator board in a washing machine, by removing the microcontroller on the board for example and interfacing directly to the rest of the circuitry – the relays, TRIACs, sensors etc.
  2. To use a machine that used a main board with a connection for external communications (either for a separate controls/display board or for remote diagnostics). If we could work out the communication protocol being used, we could then control the machine through this protocol with a microcontroller.
  3. To ‘hack’ the buttons, dials and LEDs on the board behind the physical interface of a machine, by using a microcontroller to control relays to fake button pushes and to sense whether voltage was on or off at the LEDs to detect state changes, for example.

Read Cloudwash – Creating the Technical Prototype article what approach was chosen for building Technical Prototype. Desginers chose the Arduino platform (Arduino Mega). Using the Devshield and Arduino client library events could be sent to the cloud. Cloud had a web service was built with Node, Sails (a simple MVC framework), and a MySQL database. The web service can be accessed with different devices (a web app, desktop app, iOS app).

Cloudwash – Creating the Technical Prototype very nicely described blog post. It is well worth to read if you are interested in Internet of Things development.


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