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Help tracking kettle usage for the elderly

Posted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:50 pm
by josephabell

I have a closed source device that track my grandmother's kettle usage, so we know whether she has made it out of bed and made herself a cup of coffee in the morning. Unfortunately, the company we have providing this solution has announced that they are not going to be around next year, and as it was a subscription service with no open source code, I'm now looking into rolling my own solution.

Here are a few areas I think I might need help with:

I need a way to track the power usage of a plug socket. When my grandmother turns on the kettle, I'd like the raspberry pi to know.
I need a way to report that information using a phone network, as my grandmother does not have the internet.
I would need to make sure that any hardware would need a case to stop hot water from getting onto it.

Is this feasible? I think I could manage the software side of things, but I don't know what to look for in terms of hardware.

Any advice would be fantastic.

Thank you. :)

Re: Help tracking kettle usage for the elderly

Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:10 pm
by morticiaskeeper
An interesting idea. is there a wifi router your grandmother's house?

I can foresee needing to have such a system for my mother in the future. I bought her a google home mini and have access to the logs, so i can see if she has spoken to it.

A quick solution would be a pizero with a camera in the kitchen, running RPI Web Cam Interface, using motion sensing or a PIR sensor to record video. Change the Apache port, then et the port forwarding on the router to give you external access. Although it won't record the kettle being switched on, you will be able to check that a recent video has been recorded.

let us know if you find a solution.

Re: Help tracking kettle usage for the elderly

Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:20 pm
by bensimmo
Use something like ... off-pow-r2
It has power monitoring, you could then either hack in a similar card setup (or Lora/lorawan if you are lucky to have LoRaWAN network near that area.).
(See The Things Network for a quick check)
It can be customised with other firmware (there are some other power monitors in that list

Then get a SIM data WiFi point, they're cheap and create a SIM hotspot in the house.
You can then add more thing WiFi as needed
I have an old Huawei 3G one.
Quick search and this sort of thing but read reviews, see what there is or can be customised.
TP-Link TL-MR3020

Re: Help tracking kettle usage for the elderly

Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:29 pm
by PhatFil
as a bit of a sonoff fan boy i echo the suggestions above, And the out of the box firmware with its phone app may even fulfil all your requirements?
tho your phone or a phone may need to be on the same wifi net as the sonoff device for that to work (you can share devices between phones/accounts). a 10 minute learn n test should reveal if or not this will work, - the downside being reliance on remote service servers that can go down..

If not re flashed with tasmota firmware and publishing to a cloud based public mqtt broker, a client on your pi at home or even an app on your phone could subscribe to the 'kettle' topic hosted on the public broker and get every message published.