SmartBlinds

Conclusions


Our results met our expectations in that we were able to create a system that intelligently reacted to a directly light source. Although we would have appreciated a little more accuracy, we realize that due to the give in the miniblindís own mechanical system we could not expect more than three positions. Besides the LCD assembly command that the professor gave to us on our labs, all of our code is original. The included libraries are part of public domain. We may have used previous labs work to implement features such as the button debouncer or the keypad lookup table, but we wrote that code originally as well. We needed to refresh on building op-amps and filters as well as H-bridges and looked on the web for some topics, but since hardware designs are taught in ECE 210, we feel that we did not infringe on any intellectual property. We did not have to sign any non-disclosures to get any sample parts. Finally, we did use another student's Hall-Effect sensor in our project. John Stang soldered a 33k resistor from output to VDD. We found more information about his project at http://instruct1.cit.cornell.edu//courses/eceprojectsland/STUDENTPROJ/2003to2004/jss67/Stang/index.html

Standards

We do not have any standards that are used in the project. To our knowledge, we have not seen any other projects that have attempted to automatically adjust blinds in this manner.

Ethics

As according to the IEEE code of ethics (found at http://www.ieeeusa.org/documents/CAREER/CAREER_LIBRARY/ethics.html), in creating this project:

We did not see any conflicts of interest in developing this project. We had no ulterior motive in creating this blind, besides wishing to improve the miniblind operation in our own rooms.

We accepted criticism of our work and decided to implement the Hall-Effect sensor instead of using timing to detect how much to turn the blind shaft.

We were not bribed in designing or implementing this project.

Our design does not attempt to hurt anyone, and any safety concerns with its operation is described below.

We did not exceed our cost estimates. Our claims for how the circuitry would operate were upheld. Our circuit performed as specified. All the features that we proposed were implemented.

Societal Impact

This product has a number of minor safety concerns. First, if the user were to place his hands inside the workings of the motor, physical injury could occur. As the motor will be close to the top of the window, child concerns are not a problem, assuming correct installation. In addition, heat exhaustion could occur to the user if he is exposed to direct sunlight. Since in optimize mode, we always try to optimize the maximum sunlight, users might be exposed to more sunlight than s/he is used to.

This product would not benefit the blind too much. As the blind are sometimes sensitive to strong light, they may find the system bothersome if set to optimize mode. In addition, it would be hard for them to press buttons on the keypad. To alleviate this problem, a brail keypad could be used. The device might also be too high to reach for some shorter individuals. We could also extend the keypad so that anyone could reach the device if necessary.

As far as we can tell, there have not been any claims to have auto-adjusting blinds. While many conference rooms and offices may have motorized blinds, these generally are timer based and would not optimize sunlight.