Home security and automation are rarely mentioned in the same sentence as the word cheap, but it’s totally possible if you’re willing to do a few things yourself. We checked out a DIY kit called Ninja Blocks, and we were able to get a home automation and security system up and running in about 10 minutes.
Instructables user DIYHacksAndHowTos put together this simple pressure plate from cardboard and aluminium foil for a haunted house, but we’re intrigued by the home automation prospects. You could easily use it to turn lights or appliances on or off when you enter a room, or for anything else you want automated.
If you’re into home automation, this DIY Blind Minder is a worthwhile weekend project. It will open and shut your blinds depending on room temperature, it has a programmable thermostat, and includes a manual switch for opening and closing.
Windows/Mac/Linux: Programming an Arduino isn’t especially difficult, but if you’re looking for a more visual method, Scratch for Arduino (S4A) uses MIT’s Scratch as a groundwork for teaching kids (or beginners) how to program an Arduino.
Want to spice up your car’s unlocking system? The Mercuino Project shows off how to unlock your doors with Bluetooth and an Arduino.