Go Down

Topic: Personal Emergency Transmitter (Read 4 times) previous topic - next topic


Jul 12, 2012, 10:44 pm Last Edit: Jul 12, 2012, 11:01 pm by joekoday Reason: 1
Reader's Digest version:  friend's mother fell and couldn't get up.  Just like the commercials.  Friend asked me to look into a technological way of her mom being able to press a button on some sort of transmitter device to send SMS messages.

If the technology exists in the United States, I can't find it after a week of searching.  Oh, there's plenty of *services* that will install a device that will contact *them*, but, why pay a service?  

As I was thinking about this problem, I was pulling into my driveway.  I hit my garage door opener.  That got me to thinking about a device that would send an infrared or bluetooth signal to a receiving device.  Once that receiving device receives that signal it'll initiate emails and / or SMS messages to a list.

In searching I came across a gent who used an Arduino to open and close his garage door by sending an SMS from his cell.  He could check to see if it was open or closed also by SMS.  

That got me to thinking:  why couldn't you use a garage door opener key fob to send a signal to an Arduino?  The key fob would be small, easily put on a lanyard that could be worn all the time, and waterproof, too (in case of a shower fall.)  

Unfortunately, I don't have the technical abilities to pull off anything like this.  I hope this is the correct place to place a posting like this, and I beg your indulgence if I've put it in the wrong location.

Thank you to anyone who can let me know if this is feasible.


Yes its very feasible and not even terribly difficult. The keyfob enclosures are available ready made from several sources. Or, as you said, you could use a keyfob garage opener. The best way to send the SMS it to connect the Arduino to the Internet. You can send the SMS by sending email to the proper SMS gateway. Or you can just send email. You could even make it sound an alarm or control motorized locks in the door so emergency personnel can get in easily.


Thank you, Skyjumper.  I agree, it doesn't seem the least bit difficult . . . for someone who knows what they're doing.  :)  The technology is there.  It's just a matter of picking it up and putting it in the right sequence. 

The steps appear to be:

**  Sending unit (key fob, let's say) sends a signal to a receiving unit attached to the Arduino.
**  Receiving unit receives the signal and passes it along to the OS of the Arduino.
**  When the OS gets the nod from the receiving unit, it executes a script / program that sends emails / SMSs.

Unfortunately, I wouldn't know where to begin.  I'm not a programmer by any stretch of the imagination. 

Of course, this also brings up a question which might be borderline sacrilege here.  (heh.)  The Arduino is obviously a computer.  Why couldn't a sending unit send a signal to a receiving unit to an existing PC / Mac?  Perhaps I'm going about this the wrong way.  Perhaps I'm trying to recreate the wheel when it already exists.  Finding that wheel is proving elusive.  Which is why I started investigating Arduino in the first place.


You don't need an Arduino to do this, there are many ways to do it. You could build a custom receiving unit with a GSM modem in it, tou could use a PC connected to the Internet, all kinds of stuff.

Just a small thing, the Arduino has no OS, and does not need one. This is a super easy project. If you want to work on it, PM me.


Thank you for your help.  I've sent you a PM.

Go Up