Over at the fellowship of free software foundation europe's blog, a solution to a common domestic problem has been solved using an Ethernet-connected Arduino and some simple hacking. The author was tired of walking down to their basement to check if the washing machine had finished it's cycle. So instead, they monitored the washing machine's "finished" LED with an Arduino:
... which then published the status to a simple web page:
We love this project as it is so simple to create, and introduces the user to the "internet of things" concept of connecting everyday devices to a network. In doing so the author has used an Arduino and seperate Ethernet shield, however to recreate this you should use our Freetronics EtherTen:
which combines an Arduino-compatible board with Ethernet connectivity and optinal power-over-Ethernet support. To follow the design and also download the Arduino sketch, visit the fsfe blog here.