Over-Enginering a Dorm Room Management System. Part 1: The Hardware

Hello all!

After not posting a heck of a lot on this blog, I decided to write up some stuff about  my new Arduino based dorm room management system, and thus begins the first part of the project.


It seems that our dorm room, which has six people,¬† needs some type of “Protocol” in order to keep everything running smoothly. Dividing the chores up can be a tricky task, and there are a number of ways to do it. Balancing washing dishes, vacuuming, cleaning the bathroom, and taking out the garbage between six people evenly can be a bit of a pain. On top of that, with a shared budget for food, keeping track of IOU’s is equally difficult.

Solution One:

Using a whiteboard!

A very confusing Whiteboard

A very confusing Whiteboard

This is the method we have been using, but it seems that it is not the most effective at dividing up chores. Some days are busier then others, and thus it can be impossible for some people to even do the dishes. IOU’s are a mess, since each one takes a line and it can become rather confusing, rather fast.

Solution Two:

Using an Arduino based device with an LCD keypad to do the work

Arduino Hardware

Arduino Hardware


This method is complete overkill for the task at hand. Simply program an Arduino to manage the chores randomly based on how many chores each person has done. This allows people to skip days they can’t do work on, and make it up at a later date. This will also allow the storage of all the IOU’s to be simplified into an array and no longer be a messy scribble of lines.


The Hardware:

I bought an Arduino “kit” that came with all the parts (and more) that I need for this project from Ebay:

  • Arduino Mega
  • 128×64 LCD
  • Real Time Clock chip with Quartz and Battery Clip
  • EEPROM (Still unsure if required or if Arduino EEPROM will work) (*UPDATE* Not needed, Arduino Mega has 4096 Bytes of EEPROM)
  • Basic 4×4 Keypad

Next up, Software!


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