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By Ash Hill published 21 July 22
Building the smart home of your dreams is as easy as Pi—Raspberry Pi that is. To prove this, today’s project created by Jithin over at the Electromaker website is a Raspberry Pi Pico powered project that controls a door lock using Amazon Alexa’s voice control system.
The project works just as you might expect. It listens for the user to make an audible request and parses the voice command using Amazon's Alexa servers which will trigger the door to lock or unlock based on what was said. This project requires internet access to work so Jithin used the first Wi-Fi enabled Pico, the $31 Arduino Nano RP2040 Connect board. That said, this project could easily be recreated using the new $6 Raspberry Pi Pico W at a much lower cost.
This isn’t Jithins first foray into microelectronics. According to their profile at Electromaker, Jithin has an affinity for making projects using the Raspberry Pi, Arduino boards, and coding with Python. Previous examples of their work include this soldering iron fume extractor with built-in lighting.
This project relies on a custom PCB designed by Jithin and printed by PCBWay. According to Jithin, the circuit was designed using an application called Altium Designer. A few extra components are needed, as well, including the Arduino Nano RP2040 Connect and a 4-channel relay.
The software for the voice control system was written using Arduino IoT Cloud and works in conjunction with the Alexa application available on smartphones. This app has a tool specifically designed to work with Arduino boards known as Arduino Skill which is necessary to communicate with the Arduino Nano RP2040 Connect on the PCB.
For a closer look at this Raspberry Pi project, visit the original project thread over at Electromaker for a complete breakdown of how to recreate the system at home. You can also find a demo video of the project over at YouTube. Be sure to follow Jithin for more creations as well as any future updates on this one.
Ash Hill is a Freelance News and Features Writer at Tom's Hardware US. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting.
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