Ninjas and Robots Invade Your Smart Home

This week’s SmartHome roundup features a ninja that controls your smart home, a robot that keeps it clean, and a cube that entertains your furry pals while you’re out.

Ninja Blocks


Ninjas are famous for their stealth, so it’s fitting to have technology that monitors your home inconspicuously, even when you are away.  For $199 Ninja Blocks offers the Ninja Kit, which comes with one wireless motion sensor, one wireless door/window contact sensor, one wireless button that serves as a doorbell, one Wireless temperature and humidity sensor, the Ninja Block equipped with BeagleBone Linux computer with an Arduino, one Ethernet Cable, one Micro SD Card & Caddy, one 5VDC 3 Amp Power supply with connectors for US, EU, UK, and AU, and one temperature probe.

Ninja Blocks can be customized to run your own apps thanks to BeagleBone, Hack Me tags, and Ninja Rules Engine.  And you can even program the RGB LED eyes to change color depending on situations, such as when servers are down or the stock market is climbing.

You can monitor all the connected activities in your home via a mobile app, and get real-time alerts if a door or window opens, or motion is detected while you’re away.  You can add more sensors and connected devices such as sockets, if you want to monitor and connect more appliances.

iRobot Braava


Cleaning your house can be a daunting task, especially when you’ve got so many other things to do.  Now, with the help of iRobot Braava 380t, you can have your floors swept and mopped remotely, leaving your hands (and time) free to do other things.

From the makers of Roomba, The iRobot Braava comes with a NorthStar Navigation Cube that projects a signal that Braava uses to determine its location and track what areas it has already swept or mopped.  Braava has two modes: sweep and mop.  Sweep dry-mops your floor and picks up dust dirt and hair by moving in a straight line.  For the mop mode, it uses a damp cloth to lift surface dirt and grime off your floor in a back and forth motion.

It can be used on all hard-surface floors including tile, vinyl, hardwood and laminate.  And it even has a Pro-Clean System, a special Reservoir Cleaning Pad that dispenses liquid throughout the cleaning cycle, continually refreshing the Pro-Clean microfiber cloth with fresh fluid, allowing it to damp mop up to 350 square feet in a single cleaning cycle.  And because of the square shape, it even cleans corners and moves gracefully along walls, baseboards and edges.  If you’re worried about Braava harming your antique furniture, it comes with soft-touch bumpers to prevent damage.




Hate leaving your furry pal all alone in your house?  Wish there was a way to be with Fido even if you’re at work?  Now there is, thanks to a Kickstarter project.

Petcube started as a simple home project when Alex Neskin, the founder and CTO of this startup, got a cute dog named Rocky.  Little did he know that when left alone, Rocky incessantly barks and scratches, getting so bad that his neighbors even called the cops to report the disturbance.  Neskin wanted to know what Rocky is up to when alone so using a Arduino board, a small device with a camera, servo motors, he was able to come up with a device that helps him see Rocky’s activities while he was out.  He discovered that Rocky begs for any kind of contact so Neskin mounted a laser on the camera that can be controlled remotely.

If Rocky was experiencing anxiety while Neskin was away, the same thing could be happening to other pets while their owners are out.  Neskin decided that it was time share his invention to the world via Kickstarter.  Now, Petcube has HD streaming with wide angle camera, mic and speakers so you and your pet can communicated with each other, and a low-intensity laser pointer on a movable platform so you can play with your furry pal anytime.

It still has 29 days left of Kickstarter but it has already exceeded its initial funding goal of $100,000.  If it reaches $250K, Petcube will be fitted with sound alerts, autoplay mode, and motion detection.

See SiliconAngle’s full SmartHome series collection on our Springpad channel!