G.Home + Lego + RPi Doorlock
Aug 2018
A fun weekend hack I'd been planning on doing ever since I got my Google Home. Used Lego for the housing and a raspberry pi. Struggles:
  • The actual doorlock was really rigid - moving the knob with any motor would require a huge torque increase. I opened up the doorlock and thought I could loosen it up a little, but the inner mechanism was far too intricate to be able to replace the springs. I even got a local key-maker to have a look and he spent a couple days but nothing came off it.
  • Rpi.GPIO is a terrible, terrible library. I really don't know why most suggest it. The servo motor stutters when the rpi is doing some processing, because the library uses software timed PWM. It's ironic all tutorials use Rpi.GPIO.
  • Google Home's implicit actions invocation isn't smooth; it has an additional step. When I ask Google Home to open the door, it asks me if I'd like to use the actions dialog-flow I created to process the action. I have to say yes before it processes the action. This kind of makes the entire purpose of using Home useless.
Future work:
  • I will have to add another motor to engage/disengage the driving motor or gear shaft, unless I figure out a genius way using the single rotating motor. This would useful in the event that there's no current, or I physically want to use the door-key from the outside.
  • Figure out state from the servo motor. If say I can lock the door from outside with the servo disengaged, I'd need the motor to spin only if it can spin. I'm not sure yet if the servo gives this as feedback.