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MGT-602 Research Methodology

Moderator: Sana Ullah Khan

Assignment No.3 Student Name: Saleh Shafi Raja


Registration #:
FA-15-RPM258

Student

Automation and Remote Access of Home Electrical


Appliances using Smart Phones

ABSTRACT

Today energy has become a major concern. To conserve energy various techniques
of home automation can be used. This Research Proposal aims to provide an easy to
use, easy to install and cost effective solution to home automation. The idea is to be
able to monitor, control and automate the appliances within a house through a
central system which may be operated from a remote location. A lot of research has
been done in this area of domotics and several products have been created which
have already been discussed in detail in the literature review. Then final system
design must allow the user to remotely control the appliances at home using their
smart phone. This proposal aims to suggest a better way forward that will provide a
complete solution to the problem that is practical, cost-effective and easy to
implement in the industry.

MGT-602 Research Methodology


Moderator: Sana Ullah Khan

Introduction
In todays world the concept of Automation is being applied in every
possible industry. The goal is to save as much effort and time as possible by
automating the repetitive tasks performed by certain machinery or an electronic
circuit. This has removed the unwanted human involvement in many cumbersome
and dangerous tasks. In the beginning the idea of automation was implemented in
buildings for security purposes, to control alarms, different sensors and cameras
etc. Later as we entered modern times this notion was further extended to homes.
In 1988 the term Domotics (made from two words, the Latin word Domus,
meaning home, and robotics) was created.
The idea is to be able to monitor, control and automate the appliances within
a house through a central system which may be operated from a remote location. A
lot of research has been done in this area of domotics and several products have
been created. C. Nunes and J. C. M. Delgado [1] presented one solution for home
automation but there was no practical implementation in this model. A built-in
controller was planted in every device and devices were able to communicate with
each other via internet and hence this resulted in a very expensive and complex
solution.

Conte and Scaradozzi (2003) [2] presented another home automation

system in which each home appliance was viewed as individual agent working in
common environment and sharing common resources like water, gas and electricity
etc. Threshold for every appliance was defined. As resources are available in limited
amount so parallel use of these resources can create problems that can make
system inefficient with respect to user requirements. To solve this problem
coordination between the individual agents was made possible for resource
allocation. Distributed control structure was used in the model.
Delgado, Picking, and Grout (2006) [3] also investigated the potential of remote
controlled home automation system. Actual benefits of home automation and

MGT-602 Research Methodology


Moderator: Sana Ullah Khan
problems with their implementation were discussed in detail. Possible solutions
were also presented using different network technologies. Several issues affecting
home automation such as scalability, interoperability, security and acceptability
among the end users were also explained.
In their paper, Andreas Rosendahl, J. Felix Hampe and Goetz Botterweck (2007)
[4] highlighted the need of home automation system and then they discussed some
network options suitable for home automation system. They also proposed a mobile
service prototype named REMOTILE presenting how an actual implementation of
home automation should look like. REMOTILE described the whole structure of
mobile application. J2ME implementation was used in REMOTILE.
The main issue faced in the above papers relates to the collective connection of
appliances to a central control system. There are a number of standards used to
connect the appliances for automation. Most commonly used are X10, Lon work and
Ethernet. The X10 uses already installed power wiring to send commands to the
appliances hence no rewiring is required. But it is not as reliable as Ethernet and
Lon work and may experience problems if the quality of electric power is not good
enough. On the other hand Ethernet and Lon work, while being quite reliable are a
costly solution and require new wiring.
A better solution would be to keep the connection between the appliances and the
central control wireless. For short range communication the two standards are
Bluetooth and Zigbee. Bluetooth has a maximum range of only 10m but the upside
is that it is a common standard of wireless communication and is already integrated
in most phones and computers. Zigbee on the other hand has more range but it is
expensive and not commonly used.

The other communication standard which needs to be defined is the one between
the central controller and the client which is situated in some remote location. The
options available are GSM, GPRS and the internet. As we are considering a smart
phone as a client and since smartphones support Wi-Fi, hence we can easily use

MGT-602 Research Methodology


Moderator: Sana Ullah Khan
internet as the communication passage between the home controller and the
remote client.

Background/Literature Review
Early 2000s

Neng-Shiang Liang et.al 13] presented a home automation model in which five
agents were assigned different tasks and the whole system was based on a
dedicated network. The five agents are:
1. Space agent (maintains the status the status of home appliances).
2. Function agent(convert low level device data to high level meaningful
command for further processing).
3. Personal preference agent(execute preference strategy according to
the preference).
4. Resource access right control (responsible for communication between
components).
5. Environment variable server(collects data from internet)

J. C. Nunes et.al [8] presented another solution for home automation but there
was no practical implementationin this model. A built-in controller was planted in
every device and devices were able to communicate with each other via internet
and hence this resulted in a very expensive and complex solution.

MGT-602 Research Methodology


Moderator: Sana Ullah Khan

Conte and Scaradozzi et.al (2003) [7] presented another home automation
system in which each home appliance was viewed as individual agent working in
common environment and sharing common resources like water, gas and
electricity etc. Threshold for every appliance was defined. As resources are
available in limited amount so parallel use of these resources can create
problems that can make system inefficient with respect to user requirements. To
solve this problem coordination between the individual agents was made
possible for resource allocation. Distributed control structure was used in the
model.

From 2005-2007

Delgado et.al (2006) [3] also investigated the potential of remote controlled
home automation system. Actual benefits of home automation and problems
with their implementation were discussed in detail. Possible solutions were also
presented using different network technologies. Several issues affecting home
automation such as scalability, interoperability, security and acceptability among
the end users were also explained.

Ciubotaru-Petrescu et.al (2006) implemented an SMS based home appliance


control for automating appliances and security. The system had three
components:
o

A PC (that contained the software component for controlling home


appliances).

GSM module(That is responsible for the communication between mobile


and home appliances in case of power failure, intrusion etc)

A mobile (through which user communicated to home appliances


remotely).

MGT-602 Research Methodology


Moderator: Sana Ullah Khan

In their paper, Andreas Rosendahl et.al (2007) [2] highlighted the need of home
automation system and then they discussed some network options suitable for
home automation system. They also proposed a mobile service prototype named
REMOTILE presenting how an actual implementation of home automation should
look like. REMOTILE described the whole structure of mobile application. J2ME
implementation was used in REMOTILE.

In their journal. K. Das et.al [4] suggested a DTMF (dual tone multi frequency)
based switching system for controlling home appliances. User mobile was
connected to another mobile at home and home mobile was connected to DTMF
decoder circuit and that DTMF decoder circuit was connected to home
appliances with the help of microcontroller and relays. If a user presses a
key(while it is connected to another mobile through Call). A DTMF signal was
sent to home connected mobile where DTMF decoder circuit connected to that
mobile decoded the signal and finally the microcontroller performed the desired
operation (switching the appliances on/off).

Year 2008 Onwards

Murthy et.al (2008) [12] presented GSM based a mobile application for
telemedicine. In his paper, all devices like mobiles and PCs were able to
communicate with each other with the help of central server.

Jian-she Jin et.al (2008) [9] proposed another remote controlled home
automation system that was based on wireless sensor network and GPRS. Two
networks were made, one at home for data collection and communication
between centric controller and sensor nodes and the other is remote
communication network that is used for communication between remote
operation

terminal(mobile)

and

home

network(centric

controller).Centric

controller manages the communication between sensor nodes, controls the

MGT-602 Research Methodology


Moderator: Sana Ullah Khan
gateway interface and communicates with remote terminal device(mobile). ARM
processor was used as a centric controller. This system was able to control
appliances at home, monitor the status of home appliances, ring an alarm in
case of intrusion and manage the heating system with the help of temperature
sensors.

K. Atukorala et.al (2009) [10] proposed integrated solution to home automation


using mobile phones. This system has four modules central server, home sub
system, web configuration sub system and mobile sub system. Central server
was responsible for communication between the sub systems. Central server
served as a controlling agent. Home sub system provided a user friendly
interface to add/remove a device to/from home automation system. Each device
was connected to Rabbit Core Module. Each device was assigned a different IP
through the Rabbit Core module. So each appliance could be accessed by its
separate IP address. This architecture creates a LAN (local area network) at
home.

Yong Tae Park et.al (2009) [15] proposed a Smart Digital Lock for home
automation. A Zigbee module was connected to this door lock and this door lock
was serving as a central controlling unit for the whole home automation system.
Devices were able to communicate with door lock via Zigbee protocol. User can
monitor the home appliances through this door lock. Door lock also has LCD
interface (to display the relevant information) and RFID (for user authentication).
User can also monitor the devices within the home with the help of internet.

R.Piyare et.al (2011) [14] proposed a Bluetooth based home automation. Home
appliances were connected to Arduino board with the relays. Arduino board
consisted of Atmega168 and Bluegiga WT11 Bluetooth module. First the user
turns on the Bluetooth on the mobile then device recovery process runs and
checks which devices are in the range. All discovered devices if they are
transceivers will be saved in the memory. To send a command to any device user
has to type the pairing password. Upon entering the correct password, all the
detailed information of Board will be saved on phone memory.

MGT-602 Research Methodology


Moderator: Sana Ullah Khan

Problem Statement
The idea is to be able to monitor, control and automate the appliances within a
house through a central system, which may be operated from a remote location. A
lot of research has been done in this area of domotics and several products have
been created which have already been discussed in detail in the literature review.
Then final system design must allow the user to remotely control the appliances at
home using their cellular/smart phone or a PC. The literature review of the research
has pointed some of the possible approaches to the problem, all of which have their
strengths and weaknesses. This paper aims to suggest a better way forward that
will provide a complete solution to the problem that is practical, cost-effective and
easy to implement in the industry.

Research Objectives and Questions


Research Objective:
This study aims to inspect the possible future solutions to automation of home
appliances. It further aims to provide a reliable method to remotely control the
entire home electrical system. The solution has to be viable in terms of practicality,
cost effectiveness and ease of implementation. There needs to be a connection
between the mobile phone of the user and the home appliances as well. The steps
in the communication process need to be identified. Furthermore the
communication channels and the communication protocols need to be established
which solve the mentioned problem in a convenient and cost effective way. The
literature review of the research has pointed some of the possible approaches to the
problem, but as discussed earlier the fail to provide a complete solution to the
problem, which will be practical, cost-effective and easy to implement universally.

Research questions:
1. To identify factors affecting viability of Automation solutions.
2. To identify the communication channels and protocols to be used.

MGT-602 Research Methodology


Moderator: Sana Ullah Khan
3. To identify the smaller units that will allow for the remote connection of a
smartphone with an appliance.
4. To explore a software solution that will allow remote monitoring an control of
appliances
5. To devise an algorithm for automation of appliances by measuring electricity
usage so that energy can be saved

Theoretical Framework
The earlier solutions of the early 2000s such as the ones mentioned by J. C. Nunes et.al [8]
and by Conte et.al (2003) [7] were insightful but were either too expensive to
implement or lacked practicality and hence were never implemented in real
scenarios. Other solutions, such as REMOTILE etc have used SMS based
communication and DTMF which are not very user friendly and have limitations that
can be overcome if the system is shifted to an Internet based solution. The more
recent solustions such as the one provided by K. Atukorala et.al (2009) [10] are
more practical and cost effective but they are too complex in implementation and
hence may not be viable when the research is put to test on industrial level.
Hence we are now able to identify the main variables which tend to affect the
overall success of the solution. These variables are Practicality, Cost Effectiveness
and Ease of Implementation.

These variables tend to be inversely related. For

example a solution using GSM communication like the one mentioned by CiubotaruPetrescu, et.al 2006) is Cost Effective and Easy to implement but it is not very
practical and hence loses it importance on that count. Similarly the solution
suggested by Yong Tae Park PraneshSthapit et.al (2009) [15] is easy to implement
but is not cost effective and not practical. Hence we are left to decide upon a
solution that will strike a perfect balance between the three variables of Practicality,
Cost Effectiveness and Ease of Implementation. In addition to these variables there
are other factors at play such as the Communication channels and the technologies
being used.

Communication Protocols
Practicality

MGT-602 Research Methodology


Moderator: Sana Ullah Khan

Viable Automation
Solution
Cost Effectiveness

Technologies used

Ease of
Implementation

Figure 1: Variables

Affecting the
Research Problem

Now that we have identified the variables affecting our problem we must focus on
the communication protocols available and which of these we must use to develop a
viable solution. There are a number of standards that are already being used to
connect the appliances for automation. Most commonly used are X10, Lon work and
Ethernet. The X10 uses already installed power wiring to send commands to the
appliances hence no rewiring is required. But it is not as reliable as Ethernet and
Lon work and may experience problems if the quality of electric power is not good
enough. On the other hand Ethernet and Lon work, while being quite reliable are a
costly solution and require new wiring.
A better solution is to keep the connection between the appliances and the central
control wireless. For short range communication the two standards are Bluetooth
and Zigbee. Bluetooth has a maximum range of only 10m which is much less than
that of zigbee. But on the other hand Zigbee is a much more expensive solution.
Also smartphones and most computers already have a Bluetooth interface.
Another communication standard, which needs to be defined, is the one between
the central controller and the client which is situated in some remote location. The
options available are GSM, GPRS and the internet.

MGT-602 Research Methodology


Moderator: Sana Ullah Khan

Hypothesis
Now that we have identified all the dependent, independent s well as moderating
variables we can proceed to stat our hypothesis.

H1: A Solution for Automation of Appliances will be viable if it is Practical,


Cost Effective and Easy to implement provided the right Technology and
Communication Protocols are used.

Methodology
To prove our original hypothesis regarding the viability of Automation Solution for
Appliances using Android Phones, we will be undertaking a quantitative approach.
This will be mostly dependent on surveys targeting industries, offices and homes
that are using existing automation systems. Initially our aim is to select a sample
consisting of subjects from different geographical locations. We intend to interview
100 participants from each geographical zone. This process will constitute the first
phase of our research and will help in gaining adequate information for the final
evaluation.
The research team will be given the task of developing the survey questionnaire.
The expected time of each interview is expected to take 15 to 20 minutes to finish.
The questions will mainly focus on the three main variables that we identified earlier
namely, Practicality, Cost Effectiveness and Ease of Implementation. The
questionnaire will include questions that will test the participants satisfaction on
each of these variables in the system that the participant is already using, and
finally these results will be compared to the actual measured success of the system
used. To ensure that the survey is appropriate regarding language and
comprehensive we will first hold a pilot survey with only 10 participants.
The research team will also take responsibility of the data analysis and will also
provide a fresh data set for core usage. To obtain an unbiased sample, the research
team will correspond with external agencies and experts to obtain an electronic
database of contact numbers and emails of people currently using home/office

MGT-602 Research Methodology


Moderator: Sana Ullah Khan
automation systems similar to the one that we are proposing. This data will be put
in a database and will be organized in order of geographical location. We will then
divide the database on basis of geographical zones. From each zone a random
selection of participants will be undertaken.

Justification/Significance
The earlier solutions of Automation of appliances either for home or industry use were either
too expensive to implement or lacked practicality and hence were never
implemented in real scenarios. If they were practical they were not very user
friendly and had other limitations. Even the more recent solutions, that are more
practical and cost effective, have their shortcomings as they are too complex in
implementation and hence have proven not to be viable when the research is put to
test on industrial level.
Hence we have the opportunity to use our research to identify the flaws of the
previous systems and pinpoint the core realities so that we can come up with a
realistic solution to the problem.

By looking into the right areas and the right

locations, and by asking the right questions we may gain an insight into the main
bottleneck preventing us from using our smartphones to control appliances around
us. And by proper research and precise measurement of the involved variables we
might just be able to embark upon a solution to the above-mentioned problem.
Therefore there is no doubt that this research holds a lot of industrial value as well
as scientific importance.

Limitations
Our research study is largely dependent on locating and interviewing subject that
are already using some sort of appliance automation solution. This poses a hurdle in
our study as we intend to interview a large sample of such users across the globe. A
lot of time and resources will be required to locate and get information about the
sample. And even if we are able to procure the details of required amount of users,
there is still no surety that we have in fact located and interviewed all major fields
and users of the relevant system.

MGT-602 Research Methodology


Moderator: Sana Ullah Khan
Furthermore the research is quantitative in nature, while the end product is a
technological invention. So there is no guarantee that successful research will
indeed provide us with a workable solution to Appliance Automation. The maximum
it can do is help us to identify technological areas of improvements, and in the
second phase with the help of these finding we can refine the design of the final
solution.

Definitions of Key Terms

Automation

To be able to control remotely or by

setting timer
Appliances
Bluetooth
Communication Protocols

Electrical tools and gadgetry


IEEE Short range Communication Protocol
Official

Communication

channel

standards and Rules


Cost Effectiveness

Less

expensive/

Within

specified

budget
Ease of Implementation

Easy to deploy

Practicality

Easy to use / User Friendly

Viable Solution

A solution that is acceptable to the user &

Manufacturer
Zigbee

IEEE Long range Communication Protocol

MGT-602 Research Methodology


Moderator: Sana Ullah Khan

Time-frame

Activity

Status

Date of Completion

Collect Data

Done

27th February 2016

Organize Data

Done

20th March 2016

Develop
Survey

Done

15 April 2016

Pilot
Interviews

Done

05th May 2016

Extensive
Interviews

Ongoing

16th June 2016

Result
Compilation

To Be Done

18th June 2016

Documentatio
n

To Be Done

20th June 2016

Final Report

To Be Done

22nd June 2016

MGT-602 Research Methodology


Moderator: Sana Ullah Khan

Table 1: Time Frame of Research

REFERNCES
[1] Ali Ziya Alkar Member, IEEE and Umit Buhur, November (2005), An Internet
Based Wireless Home Automation System for Multifunctional Devices, IEEE
Transactions o 1170 n Consumer Electronics, Vol. 51, No. 4
[2] Andreas Rosendahl and J. Felix Hampe, Goetz Botterweck,(2007),
Mobile HomeAutomation Merging Mobile Value Added Services and Home
Automation Technologies, Sixth International Conference on the Management of
Mobile Business
[3] Armando

Roy

Delgado,

Rich

Picking,

Vic

Grout,(2006),

Remote-

Controlled Home Automation Systems with Different Network Technologies


,6th International Network Conference (INC 2006)] pp357-366
[4] C. K. Das, M. Sanaullah, H. M. G. Sarower and M. M. Hassan , Development of
a cell phone based remote control system: an effective switching system for
controlling home and office appliance International Journal of Electrical &
Computer Sciences IJECS Vol: 9 No:
[5] E. M. C. Wong,(1994) A phone-based remote controller for home and office
automation, IEEE Trans. Consumer Electron., vol. 40, no. 1, pp. 28-34.

MGT-602 Research Methodology


Moderator: Sana Ullah Khan

[6] G. Conte - D. Scaradozzi - A. Perdon - M. Cesaretti - G. Morganti,


(2007),

Simulation Environment for the Analysis of Home Automation

Systems, Mediterranean conference on control and automation, Athens-Greece


[7] G. Conte, D. Scaradozzi,(2003) Applying MAS theory to Complex Home
Automation Systems , 60131 Ancona - ITALY
[8] J.

C.

home

Nunes

and

J.

C.

M.

Delgado,

An

Internet

application

for

automation, Electro technical Conference, 2000. MELECON 10th

Mediterranean, Vol. 1, pp. 298 -301.


[9] Jian-she

Jin,

Jing

Jin+,

Yong-hui

Wang,

Ke

Zhao,

Jia-jun

Hu,(2008),

Development of Remote-Controlled Home Automation System with Wireless


Sensor

Network

Fifth

IEEE International Symposium on Embedded

Computing
[10] K. Atukorala , D. Wijekoon , M. Tharugasini , I. Perera , C. Silva ,(2009),
SmartEye - Integrated solution to home automation, security and monitoring
through mobile phones,2009 Third International Conference on Next Generation
Mobile Applications, Services and Technologies
[11] K. Gill, S.-H. Yang, F. Yao, and X. Lu, (2009),"A ZigBee-Based Home
Automation System," IEEE Transactions on Consumer Electronics, vol. 55, pp.
422-430.
[12] M V Ramana Murthy,(2008), Mobile based Primary Health Care System for
Rural India, Mobile Computing and Wireless Networks,CDAC, Electronics city,
Bangalore, 560100
[13] Neng-Shiang Liang;

Li-Chen Fu;

Chao-Lin

Wu; (2002), An integrated,

flexible, and Internet-based

control

System

era, Proceedings ICRA 2002. IEEE International

in

the

Internet

architecture

for

home

automation

Conference on Robotics and Automation, Vol. 2, pp. 1101 1106.


[14] R.Piyare, M.Tazil,(2011), BLUETOOTH BASED HOME AUTOMATION

MGT-602 Research Methodology


Moderator: Sana Ullah Khan
SYSTEMUSING CELL PHONE, IEEE 15th International Symposium on Consumer
Electronics
[15] Yong Tae Park PraneshSthapit Jae-Young Pyun,(2009), Smart Digital Door
Lock for the Home AutomationIEEE TENCON

APPENDIX
1. Figure 1: Variables Affecting the Research Problem
2. Table 1: Time Frame of Research