Garrett Brown's OASIS Is an ROS 2-Based Smart Home Operating System Designed to Extend Kodi

Turning Kodi, the media software, into a smart home hub, OASIS is a bold vision for considerably expanded capabilities.

Developer Garrett Brown is working on an operating system developed specifically for smart home systems — and is seeking to have it integrated into the popular Kodi media player ecosystem.

"OASIS is a smart home operating system based on ROS [Robot Operating System] 2," Brown explains of the software he's developing, brought to our attention by CNX Software. "OASIS currently specializes in computer vision, input streaming, and general automation."

Designed to use Kodi as a front-end for video streaming and input, OASIS ties in to a range of video sources in Brown's home — including "a bunch of poor quality laptop cameras" and a Microsoft Kinect 2 depth-sensing camera. There's also support for direct control of devices, using an ROS topic to accept input from a Bluetooth game controller and deliver instructions to Arduino or Raspberry Pi boards.

As it stands, the OASIS system boasts some impressive functionality: It includes a full Firmata implementation for use with Arduino devices with support for environmental sensors, I2C and SPI devices, sonar sensors, stepper motors, servo motors, and fans.

Brown's idea for the project goes further, though, with a view to adding its core functionality into the Kodi multimedia system. "[OASIS] introduces a new paradigm of Kodi usage: smart home interaction and control," he writes in a pull request submitted to the Kodi project. "Camera viewing and input streaming are provided as two initial use cases.

"I'm not seriously proposing we merge this and add ROS 2 as a dependency; it adds 2 million lines of code. I'm just sharing the code I run everyday at home, and maybe it'll inspire someone."

Brown's initial implementation includes multiple video streams and direct control of Raspberry Pi and Arduino devices. (📹: Garrett Brown)

Brown admits that building his system atop ROS 2 "introduces some heavy overhead," but says "building on an industrial decentralized communication framework allows for scalability to virtually unlimited low power smart home devices."

More details are available on the OASIS GitHub repository, where the source code is available under the permissive Apache 2.0 license.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire:
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