The Trome  

The smart tree home (trome) for all your needs.



HCDE 439 Spring Trome Final 6/9/16

Project Focus

The Trome is a small scale modern tree house, designed to provide valuable information to its occupant(s) and alert them of any potential danger in the area. 

Intended Users

The Trome is designed for users that are proficient and comfortable with smart technology.  Additionally, the Trome is intended to meet the needs of users who are located in dangerous areas and would like alerts and notifications about potentially dangerous situations as soon as possible. The Trome is designed to keep its occupants safe and up to date on the current situations inside and outside of the Trome. 


My Role

  • Implimentation of the Arduino
  • Coding of LCD display
  • Coding of the real time clock (RTC)
  • Coding of sensors and buzzer

Key Skills

  • Physical Computing
  • Arduino
  • Low fidelity physical prototyping

Key Tools

  • Arduino Programming Language
  • Arduino Kit
  • Laser Cutter
  • Soldering


We created a smart tree house that responded to possible threats in the neighborhood 



We designed a smart system responds to alerts sent through Wi-Fi by our professor. We began by brainstorming different features that would be present within a smart studio home.  To address alerts such as, zombies and burglary, we decided that our smart building should be a tree house, so that the home would be out of reach of some emergency situations and our occupants could also enjoy a beautiful view. 

Individual Functions

From the ideation stage, we presented an initial system diagram and project proposal. We then broke down each of the different functions of the Trome and created a plan for integrating each of the functions together and creating the physical structure of the Trome. 


Integration And Building

After two weeks of building and coding, we were able to implement the following features within our Trome: 

When there is not an alert: 

  • Occupants are aware of the current day, current time, and current temperature through the scrolling LCD display, so that they can stay well informed
  • The light sensor located on the outside of the Trome communicates with the Trome on how to adjust the blinds based on the current light level
  •  A rope swing at the entrance of the Trome can lower or raise, based on buttons located outside and inside the Trome, so that occupants can access their home

When an alert is present:

  • Fire Alert: Occupants will be alerted through a red flashing LED and buzzing, while the LCD display encourages occupants to stay calm and evacuate the Trome
  • Burglary Alert: The LCD will scroll that there is a burglar in the area and the rope swing will raise, the blinds will close, a blue LED will flash, and the base lights of the Trome will turn on to make burglars think that there is someone home as well as deny them access to the Trome
  • Zombie Alert: The rope swing will raise, the blinds will close, a green LED will flash, and the base lights will turn off, putting the Trome in lock down mode
  • Cute Animal Alert: The rope swing will lower, so that the occupants can easily pet and play with the cute animals and the LCD display will alert the occupants that there is a cute animal around

The Fritzing and schematic drawings that we created in order to represent how we applied our breadboard and Aruidno within the set up of the Trome.




One of my biggest challenges was implementing the LCD display.  Throughout the duration of the project I was successful in scrolling text, time, and temperature on the LCD display. The scrolling itself took several tries for me to figure out; however eventually I was able to understand the functions of the LCD display and was able to alert our occupants of the current time and current temperature of the house as well as display a welcome message.

Learned Lessons

Apart from the skills I learned, like soldering and laser cutting, the most important lesson I learned was dealing with the failure of our smart home during class presentation.  The different project sections worked individually, and we connected them together before presentation, yet when we presented the system we were unable to receive alerts from the Xbee wireless module. Dealing with the fact that even though we felt like we worked hard, we were unable to present our work was difficult to process. One day too late, after frustration and disappointment, I realized that a corrupted folder on my computer was inhibiting our programming from working.  After deleting the folder all of the programming worked perfectly. However, since I had realized the issue too late, we were unable to continue to test our Trome with the alerts, because we had missed our class time window for receiving alerts.  Knowing that there was such a simple solution to our problem, yet not discovering it on time was a valuable lesson I learned on how to deal with failure as well as a growing experience.


Class Portfolio

Class Reflection

Lydia Davison Class Reflection