We live in a connected world. We can use our smartphones to control all sorts of gadgets and appliances around the home – from controlling lighting to remotely feeding the pooch. But what of your "dumb" tech? You can break out the multitool and soldering iron for some homebrew hacking, but the latest project from the Frolic Studio could offer an easier way to teach your old gadgets new tricks.

The idea behind the project is simple enough. Rather than replace technology as it goes out of date, the cloud-connected Smartians can help automate tasks such as auto-cueing a turntable and adjusting the volume on a hi-fi amp without having to get up from your comfy chair, remotely turn up the thermostat or dim the lights, and pull down the window blinds by pressing an icon on a smartphone screen.

The Smartians toolkit consists of two small cloud-connected motors and a series of add-ons for pressing something, turning something or performing some other action. Actions like pressing buttons, turning knobs, pulling stings and moving objects are controlled using a companion app, where timers can be set and integration with modern smart devices like Google Home or Amazon Echo can be enabled using IFTTT.

The setup comes with a hub that's connected the internet and serves as a control unit for all Smartians deployed around the home. The hub can also charge the batteries in each Smartian motor unit, with Frolic promising months of use per charge.

For the moment, the Smartians project is just a proof-of-concept design study, but Frolic is gauging interest for a commercial version that's hoped will be available in late 2019. The video below has more.

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