This project aimed to make two offices in two different buildings have the same convenient communication accessibilities as those next to each other. In particular, we developed this prototype to connect an advisor to his lab across a University campus. We have a photoresistor detect if light is over a certain threshold according to the ambience in the office, and if the lights are on, suggesting that he is in his office, the lab will have a display to read this information and can choose to send an alert, asking the advisor to Skype call the lab so students can ask a quick (or not so quick) question.
Location A (lab)
Location B (advisor’s office)
Step 1: Connecting to Thingworx
We have two Things connecting to each other in this project through Thingworx. To get started, create two Things, one for Location A and one for Location B. We did this on LabVIEW through the Education IoT toolkit. Here, we have set up Button_Trial, and Lights on two different myRIO’s. Button_Trial also has a property, Switch. We use this property to read a button value when it is pressed on Location A’s hardware. Since the button switches from true to false quickly (pressing down switches to true, releasing makes the value false again), we made a subvi to make it act like a switch.
With this addition, when a value changes on a button from Location A, Location B will receive the alert until it is acted on, instead of being alerted once momentarily.
Step 2: Hardware
Location A: This is where we placed the lab A’s device that has an LED attached to show if the professor is in his office or not (on for in, off for out), a button to request an alert, and an LCD screen display to show some feedback information. We connected this button, and screen display appropriately, and made the lights connect to the photoresistor information on Location B’s device.
Location B: This device is located in the advisor’s office. It has a photoresistor as a light sensor, two buttons for ignore and accept Skype request, an LCD display, and a buzzer and LED light to display the alert from Location A.
When Location B accepts the alert, the boolean value is sent to Thingworx, which then runs a vi on Location B’s computer to send a Skype call to Location A through B’s command line. Skype will prompt the advisor to make sure he wants to send the Skype call before it is sent out. The command line input pay vary according to your file location and Skype username you wish to call.