TJ Horner's Upsy Desky Integrates Your Standing Desk Into Your Home Automation Setup

Designed around an ESP32 and ESPHome, the Upsy Desky provides live feedback and automation for commercial motorized standing desks.

Developer TJ Horner has released an open source device designed to integrate a motorized standing desk into a home automation environment: the Espressif ESP32-powered Upsy Desky.

"The Upsy Desky [is] a device which lets you connect your standing desk to any home automation system," Horner explains of the project. "This is the successor to the WiFi Standing Desk Controller, packed with improvements and bug fixes."

The heart of the project is a custom control box housing an Espressif ESP32-WROOM module, designed to connect to any model of desk that uses an RJ45 connector to link the keypad to the motor unit β€” though, at the time of writing, the default ESPHome-based firmware had only been tested with the UPLIFT v2 and Fully Jarvis standing desk control systems.

"[The Upsy Desky] can read your desk's current height, and set it as well. This lets you create automations that integrate with your desk," Horner explains, "for example: If you're sitting for too long, raise desk to standing height; when you leave home, raise desk to max height so the cat can't knock things over; have an infinite number of presets for everyone in your household; send desk height data to InfluxDB to analyze how often you're sitting vs. standing; publish your desk's height on the internet."

Among the improvements made from Horner's original design are a move to a USB Type-C port for firmware flashing, the ability to configure the firmware for Wi-Fi access and home automation integration at runtime without having to recompile and reflash, a more secure yet also more accessible enclosure design, and "a catchier name," Horner jokes, "because 'WiFi Standing Desk Controller' was a mouthful."

The design files for the hardware and source code for the firmware are available on Horner's GitHub repository now under permissive Creative Commons and MIT licenses; fully assembled units are set to go on sale on Tindie this week at $25 each.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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