Homey Community Forum

Microbot Push "Make Dumb Devices Smart"


#1

Would this be a device that eventualle could be integrated into Homey?
https://microbot.is/push/


#2

I have a few of them lying around. Got one I use.

They use Bluetooth. I could send one or two of them to Athom if they want to create an app.


#3

Or perhaps a community developer?

BLE is a bit tricky, Homey is limited in that respect :frowning:

FWIW, someone tried to reverse-engineer the BLE protocol: https://github.com/VRGhost/PyPush/blob/master/docs/microbot_ble_api.md

Looks like it should be possible to implement it using Homey.


#4

There’s a similar product too, called SwitchBot with easier integration through an open API,


#5

… build quality seems only so-so


#6

They are Bluetooth, which is a downside, but they do have a possibility (at least gen.2) to turn a(n) (old) smartphone into a bluetooth hub. Which is kind of cool…


#7

Hi Gert - do you have a SwitchBot already? - interested in your comment basis.


#8

I do not have a Micobot yet, so my assessment is based upon whatever is available no the internet.
Bacause of the saying with thousand words and pictures, here we go.
Guess which one I would prefer:


#9

I do agree the Microbot looks more solid - a bit larger too (?).

The SwitchBot pictures you posted are showing the optional loop wire attachment which is a kinda kludge. It is used when you also need to ‘pull’ a switch for on/off control, rather than buying two units. For just push this isn’t needed. The Microbot only offers ‘push’ I think so not really a comparison.

I have a SwitchBot that toggles my original thermostat button on/off and it’s worked well for over a year now - bar one issue with remaining sticky and attached to the surface. I might try a Microbot too in another application that I have.


#10

Microbot push&pull, using Velcro:

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#11

Ahh I see - that’s quite neat… with a good Velcro that holds. Think I’ll try one out.


#12

The Microbot actually works quite well. High quality, never failed on me. Long battery life and you can easily charge it with MicroUSB.
I have a hub that they provided, the Prota: https://prota.info/prota/
Had quite some troubles with the hub until I found out that the power supply that I used wasn’t powerful enough. They supplied one that didn’t fit the Dutch electrical sockets. Ordered a new one and no problems anymore.

I managed to get it setup and connected to IFTTT, then attached to my own webhook and a virtual button in Homey. I am now able to open the front door of my appartments main building by pressing the intercom when I am in front, then pressing the button in Homey.


#13

Nice one :slight_smile: Is the blue circle on top of the device also a button?

If you’re willing to loan me a device, I’d be happy to take a look at implementing support for it through BLE.


#14

Yeah it is also a button that you can press.

You can connect it to the app on a mobile phone, or to the Prota box, but not both I think. In the app you can change settings, like how long it will keep the button “pressed” and how far it should press it. At least, that’s what I remember (don’t have the app installed anymore).

If you send me your address on jorden@chamid.nl, I will send a Microbot your way. If you manage to create a Homey app for it, feel free to keep the Microbot as a thanks :slight_smile:


#15

My MicroBot arrived today - it does look to be much better quality physically than the SwitchBot although it’s quite a bit bulkier, and noisier - but much faster too.


#16

Hi,
Wouldn’t it make more sense to implent the hub? Avoiding Bluetooth?
Br,
Gert


#17

Perhaps, but on the other hand, it would be nice of Homey could support the device directly. That way, users wouldn’t have to buy the hub.


#18

True; but wouldn’t the limited allowed distance between the two be an important downside? Everybody is constantly wining about range and modifiying whatever needs to be modified in order to extend the range?


#19

I have no idea what the range of BLE is for Homey (but then again, I don’t have any issues with Zigbee or Z-Wave anyway).

Once/if I’m able to control a Microbot directly, I’ll take a look at the Prota Pi software, although, from what I’m reading about it, it can already be set up to accept HTTP requests from other devices (like Homey), so it might not even be necessary to implement specific support for it.


#20

… seems to be just fine… Let’s hope for a quick re-write on athom’s side…