Thursday, April 6, 2017

Home Automation with the Arduino and the Amazon Echo Part 2

In this video series we look at how to use Arduino (ESP8266) and the Amazon Echo to do voice controlled home automation.

Link to project material on GitHub:

//************************************ESP8266 Arduino code*********************
 This sketch was created for a video series called Home Automation with the Arduino and the Amazon Echo Part 2 
 That was presented on the ForceTronics YouTube Channel. This code is public domain for anybody to use or modify at your own risk
 Note that this code was leveraged from a Sparkfun example on using their cloud service Phant

// Include the ESP8266 WiFi library
#include <ESP8266WiFi.h>
// Include the SparkFun Phant library.
#include <Phant.h>

//Set your network name and password
const char WiFiSSID[] = "NetworkName"; //your wifi network name goes here
const char WiFiPSK[] = "NetworkPassword"; //your wifi password goes here

//define constants for pin control and node number
const int light = 4; //NodeMCU GPIO 4 pin is connected to the WiFi AC Switch control
const char parseKey[] = "stamp"; //This is used to parse through data from Phant to find light setting

//declare phant address and security keys
const char PhantHost[] = "";
const char gPublicKey[] = "YourPublicKey"; //your phant public key goes here
const char gPrivateKey[] = "YourPrivateKey"; //your phant private key goes here

//specify the rate that you post data to cloud
const unsigned long postRate = 1000;
unsigned long lastPost = 0;

void setup() 
  initHardware(); //setup arduino hardware
  connectWiFi(); //Connect your WiFi network
  digitalWrite(LED_BUILTIN, HIGH); //turn on LED

void loop() 
{ //loop until it is time to post data to phant cloud, variable "postRate" defines the interval in milli seconds
  if (lastPost + postRate <= millis())
    if (getFromPhant()) lastPost = millis(); //get data from Phant
    else lastPost = millis(); //Even if we fail delay whole cycle before we try again

//function used to connect to WiFi network
void connectWiFi()
  byte ledStatus = LOW;
  // Set WiFi mode to station (as opposed to AP or AP_STA)
  // WiFI.begin([ssid], [passkey]) initiates a WiFI connection
  // to the stated [ssid], using the [passkey] as a WPA, WPA2,
  // or WEP passphrase.
  WiFi.begin(WiFiSSID, WiFiPSK);
  // Use the WiFi.status() function to check if the ESP8266
  // is connected to a WiFi network.
  while (WiFi.status() != WL_CONNECTED)
    // Blink the LED
    digitalWrite(LED_BUILTIN, ledStatus); // Write LED high/low
    ledStatus = (ledStatus == HIGH) ? LOW : HIGH;
    // Delays allow the ESP8266 to perform critical tasks
    // defined outside of the sketch. These tasks include
    // setting up, and maintaining, a WiFi connection.

//function that sets up some initial hardware states
void initHardware()
  pinMode(light, OUTPUT); //turn light off at startup
  digitalWrite(light, LOW);

//function that handles getting data from phant cloud
int getFromPhant()

 //Set phant data
 Phant phant(PhantHost, gPublicKey, gPrivateKey);
  WiFiClient client; //Create client object to communicate with the phant server

  if (!client.connect(PhantHost, 80)) { //Attempt to connect to phant server using port 80
    // If we fail to connect, return 0.
    return 0;

  //Get data from phant cloud
   int cTrack = 0; //variable that tracks count to spell stamp
   bool match = false; //tracks when we have a match with "stamp" and we can then get control data
   int pCount = 0; //variable used to track when we have control data
   while(1) { //loop until we get data and server closes connection
    if (client.available()) { //if data is available from phant server
      char c =; //read a bite of data from server
      if(!match) { //if true than we have not found the word "stamp" so keep looking
        if(c == parseKey[cTrack]) //check if we have a character match with word "stamp"
          if(cTrack == (sizeof(parseKey)-2)) match = true; //if true it means we found a match for "stamp" in data from phant cloud
          cTrack++; //iterate this count if a character match was found
        else { //if true means no character match so reset count
          cTrack = 0;
      else { //if true it means we found a match to "stamp" and we are ready to get control data
        if(pCount == 1) { //if true we are at the point in the data to read control data for node oen
          int dControl = c - '0'; //convert char data to an int by subtract an ASCII zero
          if(dControl == 1 | dControl == 0) digitalWrite(light, dControl); //make sure data is a one or zer and set LED pin with it
        pCount++; //iterate the parse counter

    // if the server's disconnected, stop the client:
    if (!client.connected()) {
      client.stop(); //stop client, if you don't have this you will create too many clients and server won't let you connect anymore
      break; //This is how we get out of the loop
  return 1; // Return success