Category Archives: Throwback Projects

Coolest dorm room of all-time?

Inspired by Derek Low’s Berkeley Ridiculously Automated Dorm, one undergrad at Rice University decided to add some smarts to his room as well.

During his freshman year at UC Berkeley, which as you could tell by the old tunes of Justin Bieber tunes in the video below dates back to 2012, Derek Low set out to create the most ridiculously automated dorm room in the school ever. After working diligently on the project for three months and shelling out several hundred dollars, BRAD (the Berkeley Ridiculously Automated Dorm) came to fruition. The student outfitted his living quarters with remote-controlled lighting, music and curtains, voice activation, as well as a number of other features like a low-light ‘romance mode’ and a ‘party mode’ complete with a fog machine, strobe lights and disco ball.

The now four-year-old project recently inspired another college student to pursue something similar. Rice University undergrad Jordan Pole built a modular system — aptly dubbed RRAD — employing three NRF24L0+ transceivers, two Arduino Nanos (ATmega328) and a Raspberry Pi. The setup consisted of three different types of nodes: actuation (for switching relays and solenoids), sensory (for measuring and reporting room brightness, temperature and motion), and hub (for hosting the control panel, recording room data, providing an external interface for live updates and coordinating information between the other two nodes). What’s more, the hub also allows Poles to manage things throughout his dorm using an Android phone with Tasker.


To no surprise, this neat project went on to become a quarterfinalist in last year’s Hackaday Prize. Since then, Poles has been developing an improved automation system, equipped with voice recognition. You can read all about it here.

Get back at annoying neighbors with this Arduino stereo system

This system will automatically blast loud music whenever your neighbors are too loud. 

Unfortunately, you don’t get to choose your neighbors. However, what can choose is how you put up with them. Take YouTuber “Jamil,” for example, who decided to take a more passive-aggressive (and rather genius) approach for dealing with the obnoxious folks next door.


As you can see in the video below, the Maker built an Arduino-controlled stereo that automatically blasts annoying music right back at them. The system consists of a microphone that detects when the nearby residents plays loud tunes, which triggers a CD player that emits a snippet of The Baha Men’s “Who Let the Dogs Out?”

Do you have a neighbor who you can’t stand? Feel free to seek revenge just like Jamal, but this time, go ahead and pick any overplayed annoying song you’d like.