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In short, I am trying to build a motorized dumbwaiter (platform to carry small objects up and down vertically) from the ground to my office, which is about 15 feet higher than ground level. I would like to be able to control the dumbwaiter (move it from the ground level up to the office and vice versa) via an Android phone.

I realize this isn't the most practical method to get small objects, like a cup of coffee, from the ground floor to my office, but it should be a fun project and good way to learn about Android development and related technologies, likely Bluetooth.

What would be the best way for the dumbwaiter motor to 'talk' to an Android device? I'm familiar with Bluetooth, but open to other suggestions as well. Also, any suggestions on types of motors that can be configured to respond to Bluetooth out of the box or with minimal tinkering?

Sorry it's such a broad question, and my first on Stackoverflow, but any help is really appreciated.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This is actually quite simple todo esp with an arduino and a BT module and the motor module. you will need some load infomation though \$\endgroup\$ – JonRB Dec 26 '13 at 21:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ How will you ensure that the dumbwaiter stops at the "right" position. How will you ensure that when restarting it goes in the correct direction and doesn't foul-up your mechanisms. What about current limit trips should the "tray" get stuck? These are quite important things to consider first I'd have thought (rather than choosing a user interface). Have you thought about these? \$\endgroup\$ – Andy aka Dec 26 '13 at 22:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ Electric drill. Remove electronics. Adjust power supply to set speed. Different voltage up and down maybe. Limit microswitches to stop motion. Diodes to allow reversing from stopped positions. Change power polarity to change direction. See how model trains handle reversing. \$\endgroup\$ – Russell McMahon Dec 26 '13 at 23:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ Provide reversible polarity power supply to drive motor. Name wires 'Power" and "common" simply for reference. Say lift goes up when polarity is +/- = Up polarity", and down when polarity = -/+ = "down polarity". Connect common to motor. Connect power to psu via two diodes in parallel with a microswitch contact in series with each diode. Switch are usually closed= S/C so motor will go up wit up poarity and down with down polarity. Operate up microswitch when motor is at full height, so up diode no longer connected. So motor will stop when up position is reached. If down polarity ... \$\endgroup\$ – Russell McMahon Dec 27 '13 at 5:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ ... is now applied motor will go down. Similarly the down uswitch is operated when lift is fully down so motor will stop BUT will go up if up polarity is now applied. \$\endgroup\$ – Russell McMahon Dec 27 '13 at 5:32
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I think the best way to interface an Android phone with hardware is through IOIO. It can be controlled through a Bluetooth dongle. The little board has been used quiet extensively for many Android controlled hardware device as evident from this link including many projects that employ motor controllers and Bluetooth.

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If you have a wireless router with an ethernet switch, you could get an Arduino with a Ethernet sheild to host a small webpage that a simple Android app interacts with. The arduino could then be used to drive a motor, switches and whatever else you plan on adding.

You could add buttons to the webpage so it could be controlled from a web browser.

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