Application virtualization, IoT and Cloud Computing, Blog of Sacha Thomet

Use Octoblu with Amazon Echo as trigger to start A/C on Tesla Model S

It need’s a bit courage as a non native english speaker and with my hard swiss accent it’s maybe awkward … but I’ve done it … my first webcast … you cannot win without a risk 🙂

Goal: Use Amazon echo to start the Air Condition of the Tesla Model S.

21.6.2016, Update to this post:

It’s not so difficult to use Alexa without IFTTT in Octoblu, I just created a flow to ask Alexa what’s the battery level and she tell me the remaining battery in percent:

Details about how to integrate Alexa in octoblu look at this:  Use Alexa to kick off automations with Octoblu

By the way: If you don’t have a Tesla but you like to buy one,use my referral Link and safe 1000.- !

9 Responses to Use Octoblu with Amazon Echo as trigger to start A/C on Tesla Model S

  • Aaaah. The Swiss English… love it… cool video my friend. All the best from up north…

  • Very nice video, Sacha, and no matter what anyone tells you, your English is very good and perfectly understandable. The steps were clearly presented and the use case a very practical one. Plus, having a Tesla is itself very cool and environmentally responsible.

    • Thanks Tobias! I’m sure that I can improve my english, but I say better a hard accent that not speaking at all. I have my Model S now since 6 months and in the first time I was “hiding” it a bit, because also in Switzerland a Tesla is not affordable for every one. But if you consider the TCO it’s cheaper that on the first sight … Gas prices are not the same like in the US, we pay for a Liter (0.264 gallon) 1.60 CHF = 1 gallon for 6$. Also annual maintenance for a Tesla is economically priced. And I “only” own the 70D what is enough for small Switzerland.

      • Say, one thing that would be really useful would be to be able to ask Alexa “What’s the temperature in my Tesla?” and be able to retrieve that information so you don’t have to check t see if you need to the A/C on. Is it possible to handle queries like that?
        P.S. I have no problem understanding you in English or German! 🙂

        • This is a very good idea, and it’s something what I have in my mind. But currently there is no backwards channel from my Tesla to Amazon Echo. As soon that Echo is native implemented in Octoblu that should work. What I can do is to ask and receive a text message with the temperature, but the voice of Alexa is much more nifty – so this should be the way I want to go. (I have to care that my wife is not jealous to Alexa …)

          A workaround in the meanwhile can be that I add a validation method in my flow and only act when temperature is out a of a defined range. Or another way it’s to integrate also my Netatmo weather station which knows at least the outside temperature, to decide if A/C is needed. And what I need to say, in Switzerland we rarely need an A/C on the morning for cooling down the car. But this command is also useful in winter to heat up the car, and in 5 from 12 month of the year you need here to heat the car in the morning 🙂

          • Indeed, A/C is only one example of interactive monitoring and feedback. There needs to be better integration that is bidirectional. I am also unhappy that the Samsung SmartThings still doesn’t integrate with Octoblu. There are so many relaly nice, open-source modules that integrate with multiple protocols to SmartThings (see for details). See also which seems to have fallen silent for many months now. Am going to try to revive this on Twitter!

  • Hallo Sacha

    Bin auf deine coolen Octoblu-Flow gestossen, der, wenn ich das richtig verstehe, eine Art “workaround” ist, um den Tesla indirekt mit Alexa anzusteuern? Aber der Reihe nach: Ich bin auch Teslanaut, wohne auch im Kt. BE und bin auch TFF-Mitglied (supercharged). Ich würde gerne deinen Flow “nachbauen”, aber mir ist nicht klar geworden, wie du den Tesla-Account konkret in Octoblu einbindest? Kannst du mir als völligem Anfänger hier den einen oder anderen Tipp geben? Oder wir eigne ich mich am schnellsten die Basics von Octoblu an – gibt es ein gutes Tutorial oder muss man einfach nach trial & error verfahren?

    • Hey Patrick, danke für dein Kommentar, da hätte ich das Video ja sogar Berndeutsch machen können. Ja es ist ein “Workaround” der recht gut funktioniert, natürlich könnte man auch direkt ne AWS Anwendung machen und diese mit Echo ansprechen. Diese Lösung hier erfordert aber Null Programmierkenntnisse. Leider hat Octoblu noch keine native Amazon-Echo Schnittstelle, und IFTTT noch keine für den Tesla. Somit brauche ich in diesem Beispiel beide “IoT-Frameworks” zum ansteuern. Eigentlich ist es ein bisschen Krank … ich sprech in die Amazon Cloud, von dort geht’s weiter in die IFTTT Cloud, von dort aus weiter via Webhook in die Octoblu-Cloud und von dort aus weiter an Tesla … aber es funktioniert.

      Wo stehst du genau an?, ich kann dir gerne helfen. Tesla ist ein eigenes “Thing” in Octoblu und kann direkt eingebunden werden, beim ersten ausführen des Flows werden dann die Credentials von MyTesla angefordert. Mit dem Debugger in Octoblu (Lupe) findest du noch die ID deines Autos raus die du brauchst beim einschalten der Heizung. Die Dokumentation ist leider nicht so das gelbe vom Ei bei Octoblu … noch nicht …

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