Cell phone remote control

Ok, I'm able to get some things going pretty well with what I already know when it comes to writing sketches. I have a kennel system I built that feeds my dogs twice a day and monitors water levels, turning on valves to fill water bowls when needed, and monitors the temps both inside and out. I use several arduinos, (nanos, megas and unos) and a lot of wiring to achieve this, as well as a raspberry pi that allows me to see these conditions and control them from my android. I was able to get all that going by doing tons of reading and experimenting with arduinos, and my knowledge of electronics. So, I can do some basic design that gets me most of what I need to do.

But I have a project in mind that is so far above my head I have no idea where to start looking or what keywords will get me started in searching for clues, so I'll lay out what I want to achieve, and maybe you guys can help me get the right terminology to search for.

I rescue dogs. I build live traps and capture lost dogs and return them to their owners. I have a trail cam that sends pictures to my phone that I set up nearby so I can monitor the trap from miles and miles away.

What I need help with is where to find info on, and what shields or devices I need, to be able to turn on or off a couple of inputs/outputs from my phone from miles away.

I keep catching unwanted animals in my traps, and it takes an 80 mile round trip to release them and reset the trap. I can mechanically build the traps so that they may be de-activated with an arduino, but I don't know how to get started building a system where I could actually trigger inputs on an arduino over a 2g, 3g or 4g cellular system from my phone.

I know I can use different shields to send texts to and from the arduino, or even do voice calls...but I need to turn on outputs so I can control the environment in the trap. If I could only turn off and on a couple of leds from a distance, I could then build a circuit and mechanical means to disarm and re-arm my traps if theres an opossum nearby, instead of the dog I'm trying to recover.

Can you guys give me some suggestions on what keywords to start researching so I can get started down this road? we would be so much more effective helping these dogs if I could control just a couple of distant arduino outputs. Keep in mind, sometimes these traps are deep in the woods, so cellular is really what Im looking for. Bluetooth and wifi really won't get me there.

Thanks in advance!


Send a text message that contains commands, and have the Arduino interpret those messages and act accordingly.

There are plenty of web sites that describe sending/receiving text messages. Googling "arduino receive sms messages" yields 951,000 hits.

Example "trap 1 open" to open the door of trap one.

Thank you for that response.

I naively thought that using the sim card shields would only allow communication back and forth between PEOPLE, it never occurred to me I could use if,then statements (and the like) based on keyboard inputs (or in this case, text inputs) to get the inputs and outputs to respond like I already know how.

Classic case of not seeing the forest for the trees, and not picking up on the examples that I've already read. If you can get a text to print something to the serial monitor, you can get the outputs to trigger the same way.


Sorry for not making the connection on my own. But thanks for smacking me awake, all the same. I'll run off and do a whole lot more reading with the fog gone and I'm sure I'll get what I need quickly now.

Thanks Again!