Friday, August 14, 2020

Configuring Wifi for a Samsung Powerbot without the Remote

I bought a Powerbot vacuum a month or two ago, minus the power pack and remote.

I figured it would be straightforward, but ended up spending a lot of time tracking down an SLPS-250FFOT charger, then finally the AU adapter for it.

Only today did I manage to plug in my robot vacuum and... 

Immediately failed to install the SmartThings app on my Samsung A11. What the actual fuck. How is your legacy SmartThings classic app supported on this phone, but your rewrite isnt?

I installed the classic app, started and...

Error downloading countries list.

Why. What server did you kill off in June 2020 that you shouldnt have?

After a bunch of googling and an angry review later, I found my old S7 and installed the SmartThings app, as my battery dwindled rapidly.

Setup new device, vacuum, and.... wait what. Press the CLOCK button on the remote to put it into AP mode, so I can connect wifi?

I didnt get a remote. A replacement is $75AUD. My bargain bot is turning into a nightmare.

One forum poster suggested they got past this step, but not how.

It turns out if you switch it off with the emergency switch, and it has no wifi, it is open to configuration.

Oh thank god.

So now, with the help of a party hat and homeassistant, I have a robot vacuum that is cleaning my house when I leave for the pub.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Paywave/mobile payments for Chuggers

I dont like high pressure fake charity collectors; but a chap with a can collecting for something like MS; I trust a lot more - no getting my credit card details; if I say no; they wander on.

Around Adelaide there is a particularly entertaining lady who has a very big McCaw with her - her success rate must be fairly good.

Most of the time though these days; I have to say I have no spare change, only card.

So, dear lazyweb; can someone please make a QR code or similar "open url" kit; letting someone with a smart phone tip - be it through an app store like subscription; a one click donate with the web payments API; or the charity equivalent of a kickstarter.

What I want as a donator:
- Mutually shared identity. Who am I giving my $ to, and do they have a scumbag rating?
- No spam. My local animal shelter spends a lot on print/mailouts to prompt recurring donation. If I can tell them not to spend $5 on media but on their cause; thats better for all
- kickstarter like updates; *if* I opt in to a specific project.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Wanted: Owntracks clients as easy as Slack

Right now its tricky for groups of cyclists to coordinate.  It's very easy to get split,  and hard to meet a group mid ride.

Owntracks solves a lot of this;  but setting up your own mqtt broker is tricky.  Some hosted options exist,  but then configuring is tricky for non tech users - remote config/config import helps alot; but its not perfect.

Secondly,  I have multiple groups I want to share my location with for different purposes.

I really wish the owntracks clients were as easy as the slack mobile clients - easy team swapping,  easy signin.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Strava game idea: CTF

Foursquare made me think about this, with its checkins and mayorships - it's basically just CTF, but an individual game.

At the same time as that is happening, Strava is posting challenges; people are everesting, and groups naturally form around the sport.

So why not use the strava API to detect time spent since someone climbed a particular hill, and give the score as time + elevation * number of people who climbed it on your 'team'.

Now if only I wasn't riding so much that I could implement a prototype :(

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Tips for switching between BPM's?

I have been trying to wrap my head around good ways to do this. I play dance floor music: Drum and bass, glitch hop, call it "EDM" If you have to :P. Generally i Am floating around 87 - 90 bpm: So for example I would like to switch into a 115 or 140 track from that. Anyone have good tips other than transitioning two ambient parts together? That generally doesn't work well with the genres I am playing as there is always some sort of beat going.

Submitted August 08, 2015 at 03:13PM by grey_mattersDNB

Friday, April 24, 2015

Well, that was a hell of a birthday

  • Doctor tells me by SMS I have a good chance of getting cirrhosis because of my genetics.
  • Venue cancels on me the day before; after having waited a full extra fortnight due to availability.
  • It's officially cold, wet and miserable here.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Internet users urged to go dark on metadata

Submitted March 25, 2015 at 02:31PM by k-h

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Actual home automation: building the helpful dumb house

Robots aren't anywhere close to being able to automate the annoying aspects of our lives.

I've gotten another Raspberry Pi, and the first one is working well with Oscar - other projects like TheThingSystem and Ninjablocks have falled by the wayside a little.

The only things I've got that I can feasibly automate include an automated cat feeder; or maybe an outdoor vertical garden.
Neither is really solving a proper life problem - not the same way that watering timers do.

After thinking about it for a while, the issue isn't making the full leap to automation. A modern flushing toilet is an incredible piece of automation - gone is the requirement to deal with waste daily, and when linked to a modern sewage system; the benefits to health, labour and much more are a very good trade-off.
All of this is reduced to a simple mechanical button and a charge from your council.

Building collaborative agents that can reason about the best rules to apply in the best situations is a very hard problem. Simple triggers like "motion detected in room X" firing "switch on light" need contexts and bounds: there's no point switching on a light if it is daylight; or put better; the ambient light provides a suitable visibility.
Dealing with multiple actors at once and building models of their "comfort" is way, way beyond what we can do - the sensors we have and means to deal with their input are far far to limited.

Maybe this isn't such a bad thing. Many people have recently ridiculed light switch apps on phones - a simple mechanical trigger coupled with a human solves the room lighting problem in a residential house really well.

So by that token, what can we do with more limited sensors, automated schedules and basic rules that can be reduced to a user hitting a button; or not?
I think the answer goes back to Oscar and TODO list systems like Trello - higher level decision making is almost always going to require a person; and the decision making should be for difficult or relevant tasks.
Trello and others solve the communication amongst a group of humans problem really well - it ends up being a really rough service bus.

What can we do to take advantage of that?

Observation 1: The federal government is really stuffing up the South Australian economy, with doubt around renewable energy projects, car manufacturing support ending, defence projects being on-again, off-again.

Observation 2: A lot of skilled labour is looking for new opportunities, through things like Airtasker or Gumtree. Many of these folks aren't 100% tech saavy, but are tech saavy enough. They aren't going to earn a living, but they are going to be able to take small opportunities. Provided that doesn't inflict an opportunity cost on them (being unable to find full time work because they are too busy chasing small scale work).

Observation 3: Service provider hubs are cropping up like wildflowers. The next evolutionary steps for a lot of them are going to be APIs - be it internal APIs for mobile apps or public APIs. Uber has forced all of the taxi companies in South Australia to compete with apps - they aren't pretty, but they are an evolutionary step.
In the Philippines, the taxi based culture is very prevalent - aggregators have sprung up with a few major 'platforms' allocating work across companies.

Google Now is the best implementation so far of 'Helpful Agent' that I've seen, recognizing when there is travel happening and prompting with directions, food, etc.

We can surely take the google now approach to sensing when something is happening; and prompting a user for decisions. The candidates should be recurring.

To that end I think my next project is going to be "Raspberry Pi that polls users for feedback constantly".
The idea for anyone who has flown through Singapore's Changi airport is pretty familiar - How would you rate the cleanliness of this room? Poor, OK, Great? on a touch screen.
Combine that with an agent that offers to post a job to Airtasker for a one-off clean, and you are really onto something.
Apps like exist, as do a lot of fitness apps (Google health, Up, etc); even for your dog (Whistle; which I have found to be very effective) - people have done a lot of data collection in the past.
Automating that and focusing on the problem areas in your home is going to create a much smarter sensor. You don't need to build an entire AI to understand a model of the real world if you optimize the questions correctly.

This will not get us smart houses, but potentially helpful dumb houses. I think that's a pretty worthy goal.