Capstone Project: Development of a voice control mechanism for smart devices.

As part of the Smart Classroom project, we have developed prototypes of a smart access control system using RFID, a smart airconditioning control system and a smart light control system. These prototypes are working in our lab in Nightowl right now. The system is expandable, making use of MQTT and NodeRED to control the business logic. This allows for easy expansion with extra sensors and devices. The system allows us to save energy by better managing when the lights and airconditioning are running, and allowing us to monitor and turn them off remotely. The interface is a webapplication and mobile app.

At the same time, voice recognition technology is becoming ever better and provides new forms of Human-Machine interaction. Companies like Google, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft all have their voice activated assistants. Especially Amazon is successful with their Alexa service and Echo devices which take voice commands from their users to allow voice control of devices around the home like their music players, climate control, computers and other IoT devices, play games and purchase products online using the Amazon online store. The Amazon Alexa API is publicly available for other software and hardware vendors to integrate with. This allows users to create hardware that interacts with the Alexa API to send out commands, or receive instructions. There is for instance a library for Linux that allows you to turn any linux device into an Amazon Echo.

It would be great if we can integrate this into our Smart Classroom system to allow users in the room to use voice activation to turn the aircon and lights on and off. This is the goal of this capstone project. You will need to research the possibilities and implement it on our central control hub which is a Pine64+ 1Gb and runs Armbian Linux with the NodeRED and Mosquitto software. For more information on the setup of the Pine64, see our documentation.


  • Research the possibilities for adding voice control functionality to the Pine64 control hub, using Amazon's Alexa or other similar services
  • Develop a proof of concept with a simple microphone that uses voice commands from inside the room to:
    • Opens the door
    • Close the door
    • Turn the lights on
    • Turn the lights off
    • Turn the airconditioning on
    • Turn the airconditioning off
  • Test the setup for 2 weeks in the Nightowl lab and evaluate it's functioning
  • Research the required materials to turn the proof-of-concept into a viable product
  • Make a final design and bill of materials for a working product
  • Report your final design and present your findings with recommendations for future research and development

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