Automating a reclining couch

(Rohitash Singh) #1

Hi all,

I recently bought two reclining couches for my living room. Each couch has two seats and each seat has two sets of toggle switchs. One toggle for the main recline and one for independently adjusting the head rest. The toggle switches each essentially have two momentary buttons (eg one button for reclining and one for bringing it up). The buttons essentially control a motor in opposite directions.

I am interested in automating this into my Smarthings hub. The use case is that sometimes the kids leave the recliners in the ‘up’ position and I would like to be able to get them back to their normal position remotely or even automatically (eg when executing the ‘Goodnight’ set of actions at night).

Ideally I also want to be able to see a ‘%recline’ in the app.

Looking for suggestions on how I would be able to do this. I’m quite handy with opening up stuff and dealing with circuit boards etc. Was thinking of some kind of zwave relay wired in parallel to each switch along with something like a tilt sensor? An end case functionality like a dimmer switch would be ideal. “Off” would correspond to to the normally upright position. Full ‘On’ would correspond to the full recline position. The dimming function would be similar to the current toggle switch function. The ‘memory’ of a preset brightness in the dimmer switches would be a nice to have as well - recline the seat to a favorite position. And the % dimming corresponds to the % recline of the seat.

Suggestions? What switches / controllers / sensors should I be looking at? Is there one device that will do this?


(Robin) #2

This could be the ultimate couch potato gadget lol!!

Alexa, I’m tired… ‘motor winding sound’

Wiring relays to the PCB will give you controll but getting dimmer slider controll will be very difficult!!

AFAIK one device handler can’t reference the state of another device, so you would need a smartapp to act in the middle.

Theoretically, if you can get accurate readings from a tilt sensor, you could use webCoRE to sync a simulated dimmer slider to the angle of the seat.

Really going to extremes… the Fibaro roller shutter module may give you full control… but it would be a full re-wire of the seat!!

(Robin) #3

If you want device recommendations… we’ll need to know what country you are in.

Also, consider safety aspects… you don’t want to crush your kids or pets… the buttons on chairs like these could be considered a ‘dead-mans-switch’ so the user can stop the motion quickly in an emergency… remote controll might just keep pushing through an obstacle!!

(Robin) #4

(Ron Talley) #5

Now as much “unnecessary” stuff that I have automated and my lazy factor through the roof, I must say that my wife would not go for this at all. :roll_eyes:

Reminds me of the movie Wall-E!

Saying all of that, both of my cars have this exact feature so why not for the HT chairs? :grimacing:

(Ron Talley) #6

I am over here with my stomach hurting from laughing so hard!! :rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:

(Rohitash Singh) #7

@RobinWinbourne, the gifs are hilarious! I’m in the US in California. Device recommendations would help a lot - I’m trying to figure out how much of this can be ‘ready made’. I’m quite comfortable hacking into hardware but I have not coded for a while. Maybe a good excuse to get back into it :).

On the safety side - I would like to replicate the exact function of the original toggles -ie the seat keeps moving as long as I have have a remote button pressed. I realize that there may be issues in delays and intermittent loss of control which I’ll need to account for. Maybe putting in some sort of pressure sensor into the seat cushion so that the system is ‘aware’ if anyone is on it. So local control works irrespective but remote could be set to account for a person on the seat.

@rontalley - its not about whether its needed. Its about why not! :grin: Actually I just want to see if I can do it - just for kicks. Help me understand the smart things platform a little better!

(Rohitash Singh) #8

I found a nice little device:
Seems like I could use it to build a custom zwave device for the couch. Use the 4 analog inputs to read the position of the seat and headrest via a potentiometer and use the analog outputs to drive relays. It only seems to have 5 PWM outputs - 8 would have been ideal for controlling the 4 motors in each couch. Need to explore it a bit more.

(Tyler Durden) #9

I thought about this as well, but I got distracted by adding heating to my two reclining seats in the couch. I’m able to power each seat with an older Microsoft Surface Tablet power supply. (I had the power supplies sitting around being useless because the wiring at the tip shorted out.)

I was thinking about using an ESP8266 and some relays to automate it all, but I’m not sure there are enough use cases that make the effort worth it. I do like the idea that you might could use a slider control to set the position(s), or have the ability to remember a favorite position. But I also have concerns about an increase risk of animal/child injury because you have the motor control out of human hands in at least one of those scenarios. You’d probably want to engineer some safety features to prevent the motors from running when children/animals decide to camp out under the recliner, if you possess either. I also think you’d want any communication between sensors and relays to occur locally and not in the ST cloud.