Digitizing Electronic Mattress Pad - Arduino project


(Dave) #1

Hi,

I’m just getting into SmartThings and have a handful of devices already connected. My next thing to learn is how to hookup multiple inputs without using a $40 sensor for each input just to check open/close status on each, maybe using something like an Arduino board (I have zero experience with Arduino). I’ve read enough to know that ST eliminated the SmartThings shield, so it’s now more difficult to make this work with ST.

While doing some research, I ran across an Arduino project where someone hacked their heated mattress pad (similar to the EightSleep Mattress pad elsewhere on this forum). I was intrigued with this because I have the exact pad that was used and would love to do a similar thing, but also connect it to ST. The project is 4 years old, so the links for the parts no longer work.

Digitizing Your Electronic Blanket

Here’s my question for those of you that know the Arduino world - Is something like this easily accomplished using the Arduino products currently available? Once that’s accomplished, how difficult would it be to connect to ST?

–Dave


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #2

Connecting an Electric Blanket is a violation of SmartThings’s Terms of Service

As part of using the Services, you may create connections between various physical devices (which may be provided by SmartThings or by others), third party services, and the Services. You acknowledge and agree that you will not connect any physical devices or third party services to the Services (or otherwise use the Services) in a manner that could be dangerous to you or to others, or which could cause damage to or loss of any property (whether real, personal, tangible or intangible). For example, you should never connect heavy machinery, power tools, medical equipment, or other similar devices to the Services.


(Dave) #3

I’m not trying to be argumentative, just understand - how is this different than the Eight Sleep heated mattress pad currently being worked on?


#4

It’s a good question. The main difference is that the eight sleep devices are designed for automation and they have several safety features built in. First, they have an automatic shut off after 10 hours or if the pad overheat. It’s unlikely that a regular mattress pad has these features.

Secondly, the eight sleep is designed to be placed under the sheets, A position where it is unlikely to be folded on itself, a major cause of many Electric blanket fires. You could do the same thing with the regular heated mattress pad, but not with an electric blanket.

Finally, there’s just a question of the quality of the build. The eight sleep is an expensive item and uses higher-quality wiring and thermostat control then many typical mattress pads.

You might have a mattress pad of equal quality, but I don’t think most people are buying those.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #5

Fourthly… Eight Sleep doesn’t seem to have published their “Terms of Use”… so they can’t be compared. :wink:


#6

My earlier post was wrong – – eight sleep did get a UL listing for their mattress pad. However, it required adding a statement in the user manual that the device should not be used unattended. So that would be a minimal standard for anything comparable. :sunglasses:


(Dave) #7

I’m sorry, but the title I used is misleading. I used the title from the original blog post, but it’s not an electric blanket, it’s an electric mattress pad. I have the queen size version of this from Kohl’s - Biddeford Matress Pad. It has a 10 hour shutoff along with a temp sensor that will shut the controller off if it senses high heat Biddeford technology. It is also UL listed.

Yes the Eight Sleep is quite a bit more expensive, but that doesn’t guarantee higher quality components. Yes, it’s setup to be automated, but that doesn’t insure safety. If it states, that it shouldn’t be used unattended, then I go back to my question as to why it’s not okay to attach it to ST, but it’s ok to attach the Eight Sleep pad?

Again, I’m not trying to start an argument over this stuff, I really just want to know how difficult it would be to use an Arduino and automate it like the guy in the link in my original post. If it doesn’t meet ST’s terms of service, than that would be a mute point and I should take this question to an Arduino forum.

–Dave


#8

If it meets the same safety standards, it should be an equivalent project. Most likely the user manual for your mattress pad has the same “do not use unattended” caution if it has a UL listing.

So now we come to the basic SmartThings issue: there are some reliability issues. If you check the first bug reports in the community – created wiki, you’ll see the people do from time to time report that the garage door open for no reason, or light came on for no reason, or doors unlocked for no reason. It can happen. And anything connected to SmartThings then becomes potentially a device that could be “used unattended” because you could be on vacation or at the office and SmartThings might turn the device on on its own.

http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=Bug:_First_Reports

What you decide to do in your own house based on the combination of paragraph one and paragraph two above is up to you. :sunglasses:

I agree, if what you have is a mattress pad (not a blanket), has an auto shut off, and is UL listed, it should be The equivalent of the sleep eight project.

I’m one of those exceptions also listed in the user manual (I’m quadriparetic) so that type of device isn’t appropriate for me whether it’s connected to SmartThings or not. For people not in one of the exception categories it comes down to how much risk you think there is if SmartThings decides to turn the mattress pad on when you’re not home.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #9

Yah… sorry to be argumentative and focus on the legal issue rather than the technical.

You can do “anything” with an Arduino these days; and, in fact, a good thing about using an Arduino instead of just a “plain smart outlet” is that you can write some extra “safety features” into the Sketch.

For example, you could:

  • At least check if the on-time duration seems too long;
  • Detect if communication with SmartThings is down and assume that is a “panic” scenario and should shut-off.
  • Add a Real Time Clock chip ($10) and store a fail-safe schedule locally.
  • Add a temperature sensor … cheap chip, but where do you put it?.. and react accordingly.
  • Add a flame detector :fire::scream:

(Dave) #10

@tgauchat - Since no one here knows me or knows my technical level, bringing up the legal and safety stuff is certainly valid. I probably should have started with more of an introduction instead of a “how-to” question. The first sentence in the blog I referenced, the author jokes about burning down his house, so I completely understand and welcome the safety concerns.

Aside from the safety features you listed, would it make sense for a product like this to also have it connected to a smart plug? The controller is a soft switch, so when it powers up, it’s off. That way two things would have to mysteriously turn on to create a potentially dangerous situation.

I still have concerns about my project. Once I hack the controller, the integrity of the manufacture’s quality and UL listing goes out the window. I’ll still need to use quality components in my Arduino circuits. In the original project that I reference, he put all of his circuitry in a cardboard box with un-protected small gauge wiring connecting the controller with the Arduino components. If I even go through with the project, everything will be in proper cases with proper and safe wiring.

@JDRoberts - I also want to thank you for your input and watching out for me.

As I said, I’m just starting to figure out Arduino stuff. I’ll probably start with monitoring the open/close status of my three garage doors and two kennel gates first. That seems like an easy and safe first project.


#11

There are quite a few Arduino project reports in the forms, although many of them depend on the thingshield device which is no longer being sold. But there are a number of other alternatives you can consider.

You can take a look at the quick browse lists in the community – created wiki and look at the project reports for sensors and “impress your friends” and you may find a lot of inspiration There. :sunglasses:

http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=How_to_Quick_Browse_the_Community-Created_SmartApps_Forum_Section#Quick_Browse_Links_for_Project_Reports.2FQuestions

For discussion with other makers and the possibilities for connecting an Arduino to smartthings without using thingshield, see the following thread:

And this in particular is a brand-new project for using an ESP8266 Wi-Fi radio with SmartThings:


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #12

It couldn’t hurt… I think!