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Domotics: an open approach


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An overview on the openness of some important European domotic protocols and technologies. This presentation was made for the "Free Software" course of the Politecnico di Torino.

Domotics: an open approach

  2. 2. OUTLINE• What is “domotics”?• Commercial technologies and their problems• What if we want to build an “open” automated home?• Dog: a domotic free and open source gateway Domotics: an “open” approach 2
  3. 3. WHAT IS “DOMOTICS”?• Composite word: domus + informatics• Investigates how to realize an intelligent home environment• Various naming: Smart Home, Ambient Intelligence, ...• Nowaday, mainly viewed as Home Automation • i.e., the automation of the home, housework or household activities• Home automation, as a technology, is mature enough for “real world” applications Domotics: an “open” approach 3
  4. 4. FUNDAMENTALS• To automate an house, you need a domotic plant• Tipically, a domotic plant is composed by: •a gateway • some home devices (switches, sensors, etc.)• You can turn a lamp on/off, raise/lower a shutter, receive notification about the house temperature, ... even remotely Domotics: an “open” approach 4
  5. 5. ARCHITECTURE (1/4)• Tipically, a domotic plant is composed by: GW A gateway D D D D Some devices Domotics: an “open” approach 5
  6. 6. ARCHITECTURE (2/4)• We have three logical architectural levels: GW 1. Hardware D D D D Domotics: an “open” approach 6
  7. 7. ARCHITECTURE (3/4)• We have three logical architectural levels: GW 2. Internal communication D D D Dbetween devices and with the gateway (e.g., commandtransmissions) Domotics: an “open” approach 7
  8. 8. ARCHITECTURE (4/4)• We have three logical architectural levels: 3. External communication GW D D D Dbetween the gateway and the “external” world (e.g.,for configuration purposes) Domotics: an “open” approach 8
  9. 9. COMMERCIAL VS. DIY SYSTEMS• For the sake of this presentation, we speak about commercial and complete systems: • available on the market, now • distributed with hardware + software• DIY systems exist, but typically they: • strongly depend on the single developer capabilities • are not spread enough • are not interoperable and well-supported Domotics: an “open” approach 9
  10. 10. COMMERCIAL DOMOTIC TECHNOLOGIES•A large and growing set• The most popular: • Konnex • Z-Wave • BTicino MyHome • LonWorks • X10 • EnOcean • INSTEON • Universal Powerline Bus • Zigbee HA Domotics: an “open” approach 10
  11. 11. PROBLEMS• They suffer three main problems, from an home inhabitant viewpoint: 1. they do, more or less, the same things of “traditional” plants 2. they are vertical systems (i.e., they do not interoperate, since the gateways are not able to speak to each other) 3. they are quite expensive• As a result, few automated houses exist! Domotics: an “open” approach 11
  12. 12. POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS1. they do, more or less, the same things of “traditional” plants • new software applications can increase the set of functionalities2. they are vertical systems (i.e., they do not interoperate) • they need some “high level” (software) gateway to communicate3. they are quite expensive • perceivable benefits and cheap technologies will help spreading over wider communities Domotics: an “open” approach 12
  13. 13. WHAT IF WE WANT TO BUILDAN “OPEN” AUTOMATED HOME?• We speak about open domotics• We want to add the automation to an existing home: • by using commercial domotic systems, possibly a “killer” technology • available in Europe • by using as more open technologies as possible Domotics: an “open” approach 13
  14. 14. COMMERCIAL SYSTEMS WE CONSIDER...• We consider only the most popular commercial systems available in Europe: • Konnex • BTicino MyHome • X10 • Zigbee HA • Z-Wave• byanalyzing their “openess” for hardware, internal and external communication layers Domotics: an “open” approach 14
  15. 15. KONNEX (1/3)• Konnex (KNX) systems are based on the homonymous protocol that is: • an OSI-based network communication protocol for intelligent buildings • an open standard • International standard (ISO/IEC 14543-3) • Canadian standard (CSA-ISO/IEC 14543-3) • European standard (CENELEC EN 50090 and CEN EN 13321-1) • China Guo Biao (GB/Z 20965) Domotics: an “open” approach 15
  16. 16. KONNEX (2/3)• used by nearly 220 manufacturers, worldwide• supporting several physical communication media • the most used for the internal communication is twisted pair • the most used for the external communication is Ethernet (also known as EIBnet/IP or KNXnet/IP) Domotics: an “open” approach 16
  17. 17. KONNEX (3/3)• Konnex is a nice candidate for our use case: • externaland internal communications are based on open protocols • but to use them you have to register (and pay!) to the KNX Alliance • the hardware is not open hardware and depends from the manufacturers policies, since the protocol is hardware-independent Domotics: an “open” approach 17
  18. 18. BTICINO MYHOME• BTicino, a traditional electric plant manufacturer, has a domotic line named MyHome• BTicino MyHome is a bad candidate for our use case: • theinternal communication protocol is proprietary, and the physical communication media is a twisted pair • the external communication protocol, named OpenWebNet, is open, and the physical communication media used is Ethernet • thehardware is proprietary and the only manufacturer is BTicino itself Domotics: an “open” approach 18
  19. 19. X10 (1/2)• X10 systems are based on the homonymous protocol that: • is an international and open standard • is used by several manufacturers, especially in the U.S. • definestwo communication medias for the internal communication • power line • radio frequence • Ethernet or a Virtual Serial Port (through a USB dongle, typically) is used for the external communication Domotics: an “open” approach 19
  20. 20. X10 (2/2)• X10 is a good candidate for our use case: • theexternal and the internal communications are open protocols • thehardware is not open and depends on the manufacturers’ policies• However, from the user point of view, it suffers of various problems, such as: • commands getting lost • unresponsive system • various interferences Domotics: an “open” approach 20
  21. 21. ZIGBEE HA (1/3)• ZigBee HA systems are based on the Home Automation profile of the Zigbee protocol, that: • isa standard, low-cost, low-power, wireless mesh network • isused only by few manufacturers, for what concern the Home Automation profile • the internal communication uses the wireless communication medium defined by the IEEE 802.15.4 standard • a VirtualSerial Port (through a USB dongle, typically) is mostly used for the external communication Domotics: an “open” approach 21
  22. 22. ZIGBEE HA (2/3)• ZigBee HA is a nice candidate for our use case: • the external and the internal communication protocols are open, with more details available after registering (and paying) to the ZigBee Alliance • thehardware is not open and depends from the manufacturers’ policies Domotics: an “open” approach 22
  23. 23. ZIGBEE HA (3/3)• ZigBeeHA, hovewer, has some problems for open- source developers since, for example, it is impossible: • to combine a ZigBee implementation with GPL licensed code • to implement a GPL licensed ZigBee stack Domotics: an “open” approach 23
  24. 24. Z-WAVE• Z-Wave is, similarly to ZigBee, a wireless network protocol for home automation system• Z-Wave is the worst candidate for our use case since: • the internal communication protocol is strongly proprietary (you need to sign a NDA and pay to see it) • the external communication protocol is proprietary and a Virtual Serial Port (through a USB dongle, typically) is mostly used • not authorized open implementations exist • the hardware is proprietary Domotics: an “open” approach 24
  25. 25. CONCLUSIONS (1/3)• Forour use case, we could use three systems with their protocols: • Konnex • X10 • ZigBee HA• Konnex and X10 have an higher presence on the market, right now Domotics: an “open” approach 25
  26. 26. CONCLUSIONS (2/3)• None of them completely fits our requirements: • Konnex requires to build a totally new electric plant and it is quite expensive • X10 suffers from different problems but it is more flexible since it can exploit either power line or wireless connection (no masonry work) • ZigBee HA is a wireless protocol with some licensing troubles and few devices are available on the market Domotics: an “open” approach 26
  27. 27. CONCLUSIONS (3/3)• None of them is a killer technology. Then: • many different installations • different plants possibly coexist• Native interoperability cannot be achieved• Thesolution: use an higher level gateway, possibly open source, like Dog Domotics: an “open” approach 27
  28. 28. DOG (1/2)• Dog (Domotic OSGi Gateway) is •a software gateway for controlling domotic environments • based on the Java OSGi (Open Services Gateway initiative) framework • with an high-level semantic device modeling • supporting different domotic plant technologies Domotics: an “open” approach 28
  29. 29. DOG (2/2)• expandable (also by you!): • to support new domotic plants • to have more (sophisticated) features through standard OSGi components• works also with simulated enviroments (i.e., no “real” automated home is needed)• freely available on the Internet• released under the Apache v2.0 license Domotics: an “open” approach 29
  30. 30. DO YOU WANT TO TRY?Dog (source code and compiled version) with someexample applications is available on: Domotics: an “open” approach 30
  31. 31. OTHER USEFUL LINKS (AND REFERENCES)1. Home automation page on Wikipedia: Konnex: BTicino MyHome: X10 page on Wikipedia: Z-Wave: ZigBee HA: Publications about Dog: OSGi Alliance: Domotics: an “open” approach 31