One (smart) remote control to rule them all

Is your remote control collection growing exponentially these days? Instead of constantly using the process of elimination to figure out which remote controls your Blu-Ray player’s volume, MAKE Magazine’s Tony DiCola designed a DIY smart remote that will solve your all of your troubles.


An Arduino Yún (ATmega32U4) is used as the brains of this smart remote, as the Yun’s web connectivity capabilities are ideal for the situation. The Yún boasts a pair of processors, one of which runs the Linux operating system and can connect to wired or wireless networks.

The device then uses an infrared sensor and receiver to send signals to various entertainment devices like your Blu-Ray player, TV, or stereo system. “Using an infrared receiver, an Arduino can detect the bits being sent by a remote control. And to play back a remote control signal, the Arduino can flash an infrared LED at 38kHz,” DiCola adds.


With the Yún’s web capabilities in mind, its creator insists that a simple web interface will be perfect to manage a complex home entertainment system with this remote.

But wait, there’s more! Most recently, MAKE’s Nick Normal also revealed that the remote can double as a super simple IR sniffer.

“There are lots of ways to sniff IR codes, but none that come with editable python scripts and a readymade XML file for generating a simple web interface,” Normal explains.


All you need is a credit card-sized single-board device that combines the functionality of embedded Linux with the simplicity of Arduino-based processing. Thanks to the Smart Remote Control’s readymade Arduino sketch, decoding IR signals is super simple. What’s great is that this DIY device could easily be designed to control the functions of not just one but each of your home appliances, ranging from the air conditioner to the fridge.

“Wi-Fi control is also pretty slick, especially given the ubiquity of touchscreen devices — it’s as simple as launching a browser and turning your phone or tablet’s screen into an all-in-one IR controller.”

To get started on devising your very own Atmel based remote, head over to entire MAKE tutorial. There, you’ll learn how how to build the web interface that will allow you to get rid of all of those pesky remotes!


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