Although controlling contemporary electrical devices with an Arduino or compatible board can be done quite easily, target devices with larger mechanical controls may seem out of reach. However with some thought and a 3D printer you can also control these older devices and this has been demosntrated by the team from Blue Leaf Software with their Arduino and Megunolink-controlled classic air conditioner.
An Arduino with a temperature sensor is used to measure the ambient environment, and sends the data back to a PC running the Megunolink software - which then determines in conjunction with user data when the air conditioner should be on or off. In this example the control panel for the air conditioner uses rotary knobs, and thus a 3D-printed servo bracket was created to fit over the control knob - and with a strong servo can be controlled by the Arduino.
This is a great demonstration of the Megunolink software and also interfacing older devices with an Arduino. To learn how, visit the project's website. And for more, we're on twitter, facebook and Google+, so follow us for news and product updates as well.
If you found the project above interesting - but not sure how to start with Arduino, then the best way to learn is with our Experimenter's Kit for Arduino:
The package includes a wide variety of parts, sensors and modules including: a servo motor, lights, buttons, switches, sound, sensors, breadboard, wires and more. Furthermore a Freetronics Eleven Arduino-compatible board is included to make this an extensive hobby experimenter, inventor and starter kit.
However we don't leave you alone to figure it all out, included is a great project and instruction booklet, plus access to a supporting web page and software examples. In other words - this is everything you need to get started for a fun range of electronics and Arduino related projects! So to get started or for more information and to order, check out the product page.