House Door closer

(Chrisb) #1

Okay, here’s an idea I thought of… what about a house door closer?  I’m envisioning a smallish motor on a rotating arms that would sit on the hinge(s) of a door.  When activated the motor would slowly rotate the arm, pushing the door closed, then rotate back into “resting” position so that it wouldn’t interfere with manually opening the door later.

The beauty of this would be really allowing for automation of closing/locking your door after you left.  Imagine pushing a ‘smartButton’ or triggering the event from your cellphone.  The Event waits 20 seconds for you to leave the house, then activates the door closer.  After the door closer completes it action and reports back that the door is closed, the Event confirms this with the open/close sensor, then triggers the door lock to turn… bam… house is locked and secured.  If anything fails in the process you get an instant alert/text/email/whatever.

And because this just closes the door (doesn’t hold it closed), you don’t need to worry about not being able to open the door if you don’t have a smartphone or if power goes out.  Also, because we’re just closing, not opening the door, we don’t need to worry about finding a way to turn the handle/latch on the door to open it.

Now, obviously some things would need to ironed out: First, the motor would need to have some sensor that if x-amount of resistance was felt, it would stop.  Don’t want to crush any pets or kids after all.  Also have to find a way to generate enough torque to close the door without using much power or the user would have to be changing batteries constantly or hard-wiring the motor into the house electricity.


(Dave Hastings) #2

This would be totally cool for opening the hidden bookcase doors i’m making in my upper half story.  Let me know when its done chrisb :wink:


(Chuckles) #3

Wouldn’t a regular spring or pneumatic based door closer (as perfected over the last 100+ years) work better. Combine it with an open/closed sensor and a smart lock, some logic, and you should be done. When you leave, the SmartApp monitors the open/close sensor; when the door is closed, it locks it. If it doesn’t close within 60 seconds, it sends you an alert. Existing mechanical door closers are available in many sizes, some with adjustable force, don’t eat children, don’t consume any electricity and are extremely reliable over extremely long periods of time (years --> decades). They also often have a latch of some sort to prop the door open should you want to.

Sometimes the existing solutions are the best :slight_smile:

For the hidden bookcase door, yes, definitely a nice silent actuator of some sort…here you need it to open and close itself on command for that “Addams Family” effect…but maybe some bump sensors (a la elevator doors) combined with low door speed (control the inertia) to protect little fingers?

(Dave Hastings) #4

Yeah, i’ve been thinking about the hidden door scenario.  Mine are going to slide (on a track) open/closed.  So I was thinking that having some kind of spring/hydraulic combination to actually control the movement of the door.  Spring to keep the door open, hydraulic to work against the spring so the door doesn’t slam open.  Then all you would need is a servo to control a latch which should be really easy to do.  However, you only get automatic open in this scenario, and a manual close.
Another alternative would be to have some kind of belt driven system that would open/close the door.  But I think you would need a fairly substantial motor/power source for that.  So you’d probably have to rig up an arduino with a relay shield to be able to control the bigger appliance…  Just thoughts for now though.