Sunday, December 7, 2014

Node-RED for Home Automation

Node-RED is a great tool for creating graphical data stream integration and processing flows. Now Node-RED is even better suitable for home automation, as support for multiple different wireless sensors is added via Tellstick Duo.

Yesterday I started to prepare a demonstration for a local Node.js meetup in Helsinki. Node-RED is built a top of Node.js, thus it is natural topic for a presentation in the meet-up. Meanwhile preparing the demonstration, I ended up creating an input node into Node-RED for Tellstick Duo. It is now contributed to the project.

The node is available in npm and github with name node-red-contrib-tellstick.
More detailed information is available on my web site: http://ala-paavola.fi/Node-RED

Node-RED with tellstick input node.

Tellstick Duo is USB-connected 433MHz RF transmitter and receiver from Telldus Technologies in Sweden. It supports wide range of commercially available sensors and devices from different vendors.

Node-RED was initially created by IBM Emerging Technologies at IBM Hursley lab, Winchester UK. It was released as an open source project and is still actively maintained and supported by IBM. It's one of the key assets in IBM Bluemix portfolio.

Couple of weeks ago I met one of the initial creators of the software, Dave Conway-Jones (@ceejay). His answer to my question why did they released it as open source in the first place was something like: "We tough it's so cool that it would be a crime against humanity not to publish it to the whole world." Well, perhaps Dave didn't expressed it exactly like that, but that's how I feel it.

Node-RED is really gaining momentum at the moment. More and more manufacturers are including it in their products, Multitech Conduit IoT Gateway as an example.

More and more devices are supported by Node-RED, Philips Hue for example.
A friend of mine, a system operator, created a build health status indicator with help of Node-Red and Hue. He integrated Node-RED into their company continuous integration tool chain, and now everybody in the office see what's the status of the build. If someone breaks the build, server room neighbourhood is immediately glowing red...

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