Can't afford a smart washing machine? Just give your plain old washer a Raspberry Pi brain

We've seen some pretty nifty Raspberry Pi projects over the years, and this is one of them - a way to teach an old washer some new tricks.

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A new Raspberry Pi project used the compact computer board to turn a regular (dumb) washing machine into a smart model of sorts.

This was carried out by Ben (of Ben's Electrical Escapades) as detailed on YouTube (check out the video above).

With the Raspberry Pi powering the smart features, the old washer is now able to notify Ben if anyone has opened the machine after the wash has finished (to take out the load and dry it).

If the washing cycle finishes, and the door isn't opened for a set period of time - meaning it's maybe been forgotten about - the Pi sends a text to let Ben know that the clothes (or whatever's been washed) need taking out.

There's nothing worse than forgetting about your washing and finding it later on (maybe even on the next day) smelling all funky. (Okay, there are worse things, but that's definitely on the list of life's minor unfortunate events).

The project uses a Raspberry Pi 3B+, various sensors, and Ben's knowledge of Python.

Ben explains: "Using Zigbee vibration sensors and door sensors, I write a Python script that receives messages through MQTT using Zigbee2Mqtt to determine when the washing machine has run and when it has been emptied."

Pretty cool stuff for those with the technical and DIY knowhow to get this kind of project up and running.

As you may be aware, a new Raspberry Pi was recently revealed with a considerable raft of hardware upgrades, including a much faster CPU. The Raspberry Pi 5 is still on pre-order but should be available to buy pretty soon.

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Darren has written for numerous magazines and websites in the technology world for almost 30 years, including TechRadar, PC Gamer, Eurogamer, Computeractive, and many more. He worked on his first magazine (PC Home) long before Google and most of the rest of the web existed. In his spare time, he can be found gaming, going to the gym, and writing books (his debut novel – ‘I Know What You Did Last Supper’ – was published by Hachette UK in 2013).

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