39 : UTC Startups - series III

Following suit to Series I & 2 presenting just some of UTC’s start-ups, we offer our readers the Series II which will continue on UTC’s WebTV facility and via our social network pages. They indeed are the living proof that UTC through it’s a la carte pedagogy and its training/research continuum enhances the maturing and personal development of all its students, encouraging them to express and release their creative and innovative talents.

39 : UTC Startups - series III

Lift a finger; Gladys obeys …

Have you not always dreamt of a caretaking presence to set your alarm-clock, to get your morning coffee ready, switching off all unused electric appliances when you leave home? Gladys is a connected assistant programmed to deal with these repetitive tasks, in conformity with your lifestyle and routines.

For a minimal outlay of say 50€, this smart system is capable of planning and programming the use of all electric appliances in your home, provided they are connected to a wall-plug. More than being a simple remote control device, the freeware running on theRaspberry Pi mini-computer applies scenarios and proposes tailor-made solutions by connecting with your agenda and certain user applications.
Distinct from other existing home control systems, Gladys asks the user what his/her personal preferences are. Depending on the answers to these questions, Gladys will organise a certain number of tasks. Depending on your desired time of arrival at your office, Gladys will calculate the alarm clock "on" time, taking into account traffic condition and the length of the trip. With soft ambient music and light, the announcement the weather condition outside will offer an easy-going wake up routine.
"An Internet user told me that during a total power black-out; all the appliances at home went down, except Gladys who with her internal clock reset everything including the wake up time" says Pierre-Gilles Leymarie, a UTC student majoring in Computer sciences and applications who is the man behind this invention and project.

 A home-made innovation

Three years ago, this computer fan spent 8 months getting his prototype in order. "It was through seeing the assistant Jarvis in Iron-Man that the idea dawned on me - the connected technology already existed and all I needed to do was to assemble them an add on a bit of AI (artificial intelligence)" adds Pierre-Gilles with a smile. A self-made electronics expert (by reading lots and lots of documents on the Internet) allowed him to complete the project alone. "Whereas "classic" domotics systems have bills of several thousand euros to install, this is a "home-made" device which allows you to offer the possibility to build a smart home with only a minimum background in electronics and programming". The project is a success if we judge by the 11 000 downloads already.
The system programme is in open-source and therefore can be adapted to specific needs. An extensive community of 450 developers continuously add on new modules to the basic set. The messages are translated into several languages, and adaptation to other connected devices or "boxes"" are some examples of improvements and developments. Using a freeware is also a guarantee to have a technology that is dedicated to home management albeit with a risk of prying, monitoring of private spheres. Since the first prototype, a second model has been assembled to match internaut expressed needs better. Pierre-Gilles is now thinking about developing a low-cost model: "The programme will still be open source, but why not envision a ready-to-use box for the public at large"?

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