IEEE Transactions on Consumer Electronics, Vol. 55, No. 2, MAY 2009
A ZigBee-Based Home Automation System
Khusvinder Gill, Shuang-Hua Yang, Fang Yao, and Xin Lu
Abstract — In recent years, the home environment has seen a
rapid introduction of network enabled digital technology. This technology offers new and exciting opportunities to increase the connectivity of devices within the home for the purpose of home automation. Moreover, with the rapid expansion of the Internet, there is the added potential for the remote control and monitoring of such network enabled devices. However, the adoption of home automation systems has been slow. This paper identifies the reasons for this slow adoption and evaluates the potential of ZigBee for addressing these problems through the design and implementation of a flexible home automation architecture. A ZigBee based home automation system and Wi-Fi network are integrated through a common home gateway. The home gateway provides network interoperability, a simple and flexible user interface, and remote access to the system. A dedicated virtual home is implemented to cater for the system’s security and safety needs. To demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed system, four devices, a light switch, radiator valve, safety sensor and ZigBee remote control have been developed and evaluated with the home automation system. Index Terms — Home Automation, ZigBee, Sensor Network.
I. INTRODUCTION In recent years the introduction of network enabled devices into the home environment has proceeded at an unprecedented rate. Moreover, with the rapid expansion of the Internet, there is the potential for the remote control and monitoring of such network enabled devices. However, the new and exciting opportunities to increase the connectivity of devices within the home for the purpose of home automation remain largely unexploited. A. Existing Home Automation Technologies There are many definitions of home automation available in the literature.  describes home automation as the introduction of technology within the home to enhance the quality of life of its occupants, through the provision of different services such as telehealth, multimedia entertainment and energy conservation. There has been significant research into the field of home automation. The X10 industry standard, developed in 1975 for communication between electronic devices, is the oldest standard identified from the author’s review, providing limited control over household devices through the home’s power lines. Recently, research into the field of home automation
K. Gill, S. H. Yang, F. Yao and X. Lu are with the Computer Science Department, Loughborough University, Loughborough, England, LE11 3TU (e-mail: email@example.com). Contributed Paper Manuscript received November 8, 2008
has continued to receive much attention in academia.  developed a Java based home automation system. An embedded board physically connected all the home automation devices and, through integration with a personal computer (PC) based web server, provided remote access to the system. The use of Java technology, which incorporates built-in network security features, produces a secure solution. However, the system requires an intrusive and expensive wired installation and the use of a high end PC.  introduced a Bluetooth based home automation system, consisting of a primary controller and a number of Bluetooth sub-controllers. Each home device is physically connected to a local Bluetooth sub-controller. The home devices communicate with their respective sub-controller using wired communications. From the sub-controller all communications are sent to the primary controller using wireless communications. It is desirable for each home device to have a dedicated Bluetooth module. However, due to the fiscal expense of Bluetooth technology, a single module is shared amongst several devices. This architecture reduces the amount...
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