Controlling various devices can be quite simple with an Arduino, however in some cases this may require modifying mains-rated wiring - which can be uncomfortable or dangerous for some people. However if the device in question has an infra-red remote control, then the task suddenly becomes very easy - thanks to the tutorial by Rick Osgood.
Rick demonstrates the hardware and Arduino sketch required to receive and clone signals from various infra-red remote controls - and then shows how the new signals can be transmitted from the Arduino. Then it's a simple matter of creating your own scheduling system to automate device control, and again this has been shown using a PC running a script to do this and control the Arduino and thus the IR transmitter. For a complete explanation, watch the following video:
That's a neat tutorial and can be used for all sorts of remote-control devices, so visit Richard's website for more information. And for more, we're on twitter and Google+, so follow us for news and product updates as well.