Yes, I know… It’s been more than three years and life has changed quite a bit, but let me tell you about some things I’ve done along this time. In the next posts I will explain how to design, make and program a whole bunch of home devices for very little money and bringing all the pleasure of doing it all by yourself!


In each article I will explain in detail where to buy every component, how to make the required electronics and the key parts of all the required software. You are more than welcome to ask me any question and request any information that I might have left out :)

I Here are some of the upcoming articles:

  1. RGB Led strips controlled via WiFi – 25.7€
  2. OpenHab Server to control all your devices
  3. UV-Exposure box. Make your own Circuit Boards! – 35€
  4. Temperature and Humidity WiFi sensors – 5€
  5. Hamster workout statistics device – 5€
  6. 100% DIY Thermostat – 22€
  7. WiFi enabled dehumidifier – 4€ + dehumidifier
  8. WiFi enabled wall switch – 6€

Along this series of posts, you will see how technology has evolved in just few months, going from the expensive USR-WIFI232 (11€) to the amazing ESP8266 (2€), but you will also see how my designs have evolved based on the lessons I’ve learnt on this little home automation adventure.

Is there any specific device that you would like to hack or build? Leave me a comment here or text me on twitter @mifulapirus.

I will do my best to keep up the English version, but knowing that we are lacking of this kind of content in my mother tongue, I will write all articles first in Spanish here and will be translating them on this blog as soon as possible.

Stay tuned!

Comments No Comments »

On February 1st, Microsoft released the first official version of the Kinect SDK and It is better than ever!

If you are starting to play with this cool “toy”, you are probably finding many problems in your way. I have been struggling with WPF and its way to paint stuff on the screen for a while now, and these two things are quite basic when we talk about the Kinect.

So this afternoon, my friend Jesús Domínguez gave me a call asking me for my old Kinect projects. He just bought a new Kinect and wanted to use the latest SDK.

I have been always interested in this device, so we spent this cold afternoon trying to simplify Microsoft’s code in order to give you the simplest, shortest, and easiest source code you can use to get the Depth stream from the Kinect.
Captura Read the rest of this entry »

Comments 2 Comments »

This is a small report made by TVE, the Spanish National TV, in Campus Party Europe where Angel Hernandez talks a little bit about robotics.

Click here to see the original video.

Comments No Comments »

Moments like this make you feel you are doing the right thing. SLU, one more time wanted to write an article about us and our progress.


In few days I will start posting all the articles that were written this summer.

Comments No Comments »

Another very productive night!

Here is an RFID project I started tonight. This is still very simple, but I made it just to start playing with this technology.

As you can see on the video, I used an Skypic, to read the information coming from the RFID reader. I just made a custom board to hold the electronics of the cheap RFID reader and bought six different RFID tags.


The RFID reader uses the antenna to read the passive tag and sends the ID information and some other data through its UART. After that, the Skypic filters the Tag ID, and sends it to the computer using a standard header that I always use. On the computer, I made a little program that listens to the Skypic, and looks for the Tag ID on a Database. If the Tag ID exists on the Database it loads all the information about the tag (i.e. picture and final numbers).


Shortly I will start playing with this interesting technology and hopefully I will develop something a little more complex than this :)

Comments 2 Comments »


Finally I made something cool with my new “Toy” tonight.

I took the Chronos ez430, create a new menu to not modify its firmware, made a program in Visual Studio, debugged a little bit the communication systems on my Robot… and voilà!

On my previous post I gave the code to make the Chronos ez430 talk to your computer using Visual Studio, so all I’ve done is get that same program, transform all the ugly raw data and convert it into nice values for my robot (an RC car with some sensors, a radio and two SkyPics)

Here is a picture of how the software looks like now:

Untitled-4  Once that was done, I started playing a little bit with my old and unstable communications system on my new robot and I made it work in a very efficient and stable way, so it is still not too easy to control, but at least it’s possible!

This is the robot running indoors (e.g. crashing against walls):

The software for this project is not very clean since I made all this in four hors more or less, but if you want to do something like this, and need help or code, just leave me a comment or send me an email.

Comments 14 Comments »

I have been looking around and fighting with some libraries for a couple of days to get the watch to send data to the computer… After some help from TI’s forum I finally got it running on Visual Studio .Net writing a quick code in Visual Basic and using the eZ430_Chronos_Net.dll made by Tobias Gärtner.


I hate all those places where you have to look around to get code and register to download everything, so if you want to download the source code, simply click here and start playing with it.

Follow this steps to make this work:

1. Plug the CC1111 AP






2. Open the program you just downloaded. there should be a .exe in the bin folder.

3. Click Connect

4. Start the Chronos ez430 in ACC mode.

5. and voilà!

I hope this helps people trying to figure out how to “talk to the device using Visual Studio. If you have any questions just leave a comment or send me an email.

Comments 28 Comments »


I recently got this new amazing device. Probably you haven’t heard much about it, so just to start, let me give you a brief description of this  “watch”:

  • 3 Axis accelerometer
  • Pressure Sensor
  • Temperature Sensor
  • Battery Voltage Sensor
  • The CC430F6137 with a <1 GHz wireless transceiver integrated

So you get the all that in a watch-like gadget, plus:

  • ez430 USB Programming and debugging interface
  • CC1111 USB RF AP
  • Mini Phillips Screwdriver
  • 2 extra screws
  • CR2032 Lithium Battery

But the best of all this is that you can get all this for only $49!! (Okay, I look like one of those guys selling vacuum cleaners on TV… Haha!)

I still didn’t have enough time to play with it, but My first Project will be to get all that data on the computer using any Visual Studio Language.

Comments No Comments »

Everyone in Saint Louis University is being really supportive and excited about the medals we got last week in RoboGames, so little by little they are publishing some news.

The first one was SLU’s official wesite in USA:


Right after that initial release, Jesus and I got an email from SLU Madrid asking if we minded them publishing in their own website about our story. Of course we are happy if they do it, so here it is:

SLU Madrid news Cropped

We also made it to  SLU Madrid’s newspaper  and someone told us that our picture is now the desktop background in the computers at the labs in SLU Madrid, but I will not believe that till I see it with my own eyes… hahaha

Well, we are not “Oprah”, but this is a good way to start, isn’t it?

Comments No Comments »

Little by little I’m running into more videos about the robotics area in Campus Party. I know some of you will disagree with what I’m saying here, so I’m willing to talk about it with you if you want.

Link to the original video on TVE’s website.

Comments No Comments »