I think we’re clearly at a point where Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Beaglebone, etc, are no longer toys but are solving real world problems.
I use Raspberry Pi and Beaglebone at work now to replace large and expensive, less than reliable systems and while there have been some growing pains, the advantages of these open source boards far outweigh any hassles.
[George Dewar] and his wife live in a typical 1940’s house in New Zealand , which in case you didn’t know, have a little insulation in the ceiling… and nowhere else. Like most, they put up with the cold — but after having a baby, [George] decided it was time to start controlling the heat a bit better.
They have an electric oil radiator which works well, but isn’t very smart. It only has 6 settings — not very useful when you’re trying to stay at a certain temperature. First off, they looked into a plug-in thermostat controller, and found a cheap one called the HeaterMate. Unfortunately it left a lot to be desired. For example, it didn’t seem to have PID control at all — and for an oil radiator, when you turn it off… it’s still going to heat the room for a while. He also found that…
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