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Maker Chris Varenhorst’s iDoor is a hydraulic door controlled by an iPhone or when security isn’t a concern, a secret knock. Cobbled together from scrounged parts including a PIII running Ubuntu and a Phidget 8/8/8 control board, the door is opened with a hydraulic actuator that taps into the sink in the room.

Life at MIT can be tough. With all the problem sets, and projects taking up time, when I come back to my dorm room to crash, I don’t want to waste time opening doors myself! That’s why my room is outfitted with an iPhone controlled hydraulic door opener and unlocker. Just tap the “iDoor” app on my phone’s home screen, and the door opens for me. Its 2009 after all, about time we stopped carrying around shaped bits of metal to open up locked doors.

Adam Flaherty

I make cool stuff and write about other people making cool stuff on makezine.com. If you have something you think I should see, send me a tip.


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