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This is the latest incarnation of GarageBot, my internet connected garage door opener.

It is a small Raspberry Pi-based device in the garage. It has inputs that connect to sensors to detect whether the garage doors are opened or closed and it has outputs connected to the garage door openers to permit GarageBot to close the doors.

In my case, each garage door has a switch that connects to the opener. The GarageBot closer outputs are wired in parallel with these switches to essentually emulate the behavior when a person presses these manual open/close buttons.

GarageBot also has an iPhone app:

Raspberry Pi is overkill for this application, but it allows one to to do quite a lot, including connect a camera as you can see in the photo above. The OriginalGarageBot was uCLinux-based and ran for many many years, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in the cold and heat extremes of my garage. In the end, it finally died.

GarageBot is programmed to automatically close a door after a configured amount of time. Your garage door will never stay open all night. If you forget to close the door, GarageBot will close it for you after the configured amount of time.

Since GarageBot is connected to the net, it can also be controlled from a remote host. In my case, I have GarageBot close the doors after one hour during the day, and after five minutes after 10pm. I sometimes seem to get stray radio signals that cause a door to open. With GarageBot, the door shuts after a few minutes if one of these stray signals occurs in the middle of the night.

GarageBot now has its own Twitter account and sends updates when the doors open and close. The new version also has a webcam with motion detection.