Cypress’ Maker of the Month: Sensing the World Contest Winner, Abdullah Sadiq
At Cypress®, we are all about solving our customers’ problems with our state-of-the-art solutions. We love problems because we are passionate about solutions. The Maker of the Month series recognizes unique projects created by the maker community and their design problems that were solved using Cypress technology. For more information about Cypress’ maker community involvement, check out the rest of our Maker of the Month series and our efforts to empower up-and-coming engineers via the Cypress University Alliance (CUA).
We’re excited to feature Abdullah Sadiq, Cypress’ “Sensing the World” contest winner for the Europe Middle East & Africa region and our Maker of the Month for May 2017. For the contest, which Cypress hosted in partnership with Hackster and Mouser, Abdullah created a Smart Home Controller to showcase how Cypress’ PSoC® Analog Coprocessor Pioneer Kit could be used to create a versatile smart home device.
Can you please provide some background about yourself and how you first became familiar with Cypress?
My name is Abdullah Sadiq and I’m a student who will start my undergraduate studies this year. From a young age I was interested in electronics and was amazed by how hooking up wires to a battery and a bulb in a specific way could turn on a light, and if you used a motor it could spin. It was this interest and the limitless resources available on the internet that got me further into electronics. I have built many circuits on breadboards and custom-built printed circuit boards (PCBs).
It was through Hackster.io that I learned about Cypress and the Sensing the World contest.
Tell us about your Smart Home Controller and what Cypress technology is being used in the project.
I had previously made a smart home controller, but wasn’t satisfied with the result. The controller could turn on and off devices such as light bulbs and air conditioners, via Bluetooth (a custom Android app), GSM and Wi-Fi (MediaTek Cloud Sandbox). However, it connected the devices to a microcontroller (MediaTek’s LinkIt ONE) using relays and used not-so-accurate sensors.
When I saw the Sensing the World contest and the PSoC Analog Co-Processor Kit, which had on-board analog sensors, I thought I would recreate the Smart Home Controller. The current version uses Cypress’ PSoC Analog Co-Processor (which senses and sends analog sensor data), the LinkIt ONE (which receives and processes the data, and sends it to the cloud) and SeeedStudio’s Grove Starter Kit (to provide plug and play modules for easy modification). The smart home controller allows you to connect literally any smart home device, such as Philips Hue lights, the Nest Thermostat and Garageio, to name a few. This is done using Blynk and IFTTT.
Both of the projects can be found on my profile page on the Hackster webiste.
How did you get the idea for the Smart Home Controller?
There is an increasing number of IoT connected devices that lack an interface where you can get actual environment variables of a particular place. For example, if you’re outside your house, let’s say in your office, how could you view the temperature in your house which has the Nest Thermostat installed? Sure, you could open the app and check the temperature, but it becomes tiring when you have to do this for every smart device. I got the idea for a unified interface to display environmental variables that are necessary for the smart home, and I thought of using PSoC to measure analog sensor values and Blynk to make the data accessible to a user.
Were there any challenges or difficulties that you encountered while you were developing the Smart Home Controller?
As with every project, there were some difficulties to go through.
My first challenge was getting used to PSoC. This has to be done using the PSoC Creator IDE, a wonderful piece of software with great documentation. You can right click on any component and get detailed documentation for it. However, it took me a while to get accustomed to using it.
The second was to get the Grove LCD working with PSoC plugged in the LinkIt ONE as a shield.
How did Cypress’ technology help execute your projects, and what are the benefits you’ve seen with using these technologies?
Cypress’ technology certainly helps.
As I said before, the PSoC Creator IDE is a really wonderful tool, and Cypress has really done a lot of work in developing it.
It does look complicated when you open it for the first time, but once you read through the documentation and instructions it becomes easier to navigate.
I was particularly impressed by the code editor which is much better and user-friendly than the Arduino IDE. In addition, Cypress products are generally low-cost, making them good for students.
For questions or more information, you can reach out to Abdullah Sadiq via the following platforms:
Thanks again to Abdullah Sadiq for participating in our Maker of the Month program. If you would like to be considered for our next Maker of the Month profile, please email us and share a brief description of what project(s) you have made using Cypress’ technology.