back to article Siri: Can you make a Raspberry Pi open a garage door?

A clever coder who goes by the name DarkTherapy has created an iPhone app and interface for the Raspberry Pi that allows it to open a door. Not just any door, mind you, but a motorised garage door. As you'll see in the video below, an iPhone is a far snappier remote control than your average door zapper. The project works …


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  1. frank ly

    Missed Opportunity

    He could have used "open sesame", ..... but he didn't.

    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

      Re: Missed Opportunity

      Or: "Open, says me!"

      Sorry, I should really get me coat

    2. FanMan

      Re: Missed Opportunity

      And he could have sprayed a big fat apple in the door around the handle

      Oh and where is his motor?

    3. magnetik

      Re: Missed Opportunity

      Hmm, maybe I should blog about this on :-D

  2. Richard 12 Silver badge

    I'm sorry, I can't do that Dave.

    1. ratfox Silver badge

      Beat me to it

      Have an upvote

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Beat me to it

        During a training exercise for a call centre many years ago, my group was asked to think about the sort of things callers wouldn't like to hear. Could we, for example, think of an alternative way to express the perennially annoying "The computer says no". My first thought was "I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I cannot do that". Alas, my poor reproduction of HAL's smooth tones forbade my colleagues from getting the reference.

  3. Suricou Raven

    Two flaws:

    1. Why is the command not 'Open the car bay door, Siri'?

    2. What happens when Apple changes their API to prevent third-party software from modifying Siri's functionality? That would be a very Apple thing to do, so I wouldn't depend on Siriproxy to continue working in the future.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      2. He'd never be able to get in his garage again.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        IT Angle

        or get out....

        lol. 1 less retarded iPhone owner on the streets can only be a good thing I suppose...

        1. sabroni Silver badge


          Satire, thy name is Barry.

      2. fajensen Silver badge

        No problem: He cant get inside the garage NOW with all the crap in there ;-)

      3. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Sure he would... it would just be a case of blasting himself out of his car door and into his garage, then closing the door behind him before he runs out of air.

    2. The FunkeyGibbon

      Way to celebrate ingenuity...

      "Hey Orville, that aeroplane that you and Wilbur invented, it's rubbish because one day gasoline will run out so why bother?"

    3. frank ly

      re. 1.

      Because that could be confused with, "Open the cargo bay door, silly", leading to potential disaster.

    4. JDX Gold badge

      2. they'll adapt it to use another voice-control protocol... if Apple don't allow that they'll move it to Android.

  4. Martin Huizing

    In an iPhone?

    Me: "Siri, open the garage door"

    *whirrr, click bang*


    Neighbors garage door opens...

    1. Should b Working

      in my experience it would be more like...

      me: "Siri, what time is my return flight home?"

      siri "opening the garage door"

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: in my experience it would be more like...

        me: cancel

        1. ShadowedOne

          Re: in my experience it would be more like...

          "me: cancel"

          Siri: Your flight leaves at 08:00

          1. Annihilator Silver badge

            Re: in my experience it would be more like...

            This is your reminder to call the vet

  5. Fuzz


    I guess the real issue is around the fact that this works anywhere rather than just next to your garage. You can picture the scene, on holiday on the beach,

    You: "Siri, where's the nearest restaurant"

    Siri: "Opening the garage door"

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Issues

      me: cancel... have you ever used Siri?!

      Anyway... surely you could modify the software to check you are within range first. Since you can say "Siri remind me to buy milk when I get to work" for instance. Did you not read the "super pre-alpha" description, and the fact this is a proof of concept only.

      Seriously, you bunch of luddites! Picking holes in R&D projects because they're not ready for mass-market, well duh.

    2. Deebster

      Re: Issues

      It doesn't work anywhere.

      You need to be using your network because the hack requires you to override the DNS entry that Siri calls.

  6. Eddie Edwards

    Wow, just wow

    Siri Proxy looks amazing. A few points, since it's not described in the article:

    * It's a *proxy* for *Siri*. i.e. you do some DNS magic to make Siri go to your proxy instead of Apple. So, no jailbreak required.

    * It can handle commands apparently specified in English (e.g. "open the pod bay doors, Siri", which I damned well hope this garage door opener uses, otherwise its creator loses major geek points!)

    I think the story here isn't about a garage door opener, it's about SiriProxy, and maybe a bit about making that talk to a Pi, or Arduino. The sky's the limit for what you could do with this. Love it!

    Suricou, sadly, makes a good point above about what happens when Apple start to encrypt Siri traffic. Although if you're reliant on this I guess what happens is you don't upgrade :)

    1. Ian Yates
      IT Angle

      Re: Wow, just wow

      "the story here isn't about a garage door opener"

      Makes more sense. I was wondering why you'd need something so computationally powerful just to open a garage door ;)

      Can't see the video at work

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: Wow, just wow

        "I was wondering why you'd need something so computationally powerful just to open a garage door ;)"

        Isn't "because you can" a good enough reason?

  7. lawndart


    My God, it's full of cars!

    1. Velv

      Re: says:

      <----- go now, while you can

    2. JDX Gold badge

      Re: says:

      Finally, a reference other than the bloody pod bay doors.

    3. Benchops

      Re: says:

      Actually it's full of junk. Next project: "Siri: Can you make a Raspberry Pi tidy my garage?"

    4. ian 22

      Re: says:

      29 up votes! Must be some sort of record.

      Whilst I do enjoy your post, I'd also like to run up the up vote counter to see what happens. Crash the web page? Counter wrap around to negative numbers? Lawdart wins vast wealth?

      I encourage everyone to up vote lawndart's message!

      Yes, I am a trouble maker.

    5. bobbles31

      Re: says:

      Not Friday yet, but have a cheeky one on me, it's Christmas.

  8. MrXavia
    Thumb Up

    Cool, now how do I do custom voice commands in android?

    1. pepper

      Google is your friend. 4th entry for me:

  9. DarkTherapy


    There are no issues as far as "false opening" the door, this system only works on my very secure wifi network. I also still have the original remote to open the garage should the Raspberry Pi fail. @darkther4py

    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      As Archchancellor Ridcully would say:

      "Well done, that man!"

  10. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    But does the door

    generate an intolerable air of smugness just before it opens?

    For extra points, make the door go


    when opening and close again with a contented


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Re: But does the door

      On the sound effects, surely proper Thunderbirds stuff. Speakers loudly playing "D-D-Dum, d-d-d-dum..."(see note 1) on receiving the command. Some improbably noisy hydraulic sounds as the door opens. And, to fully use the computational power, have leylandii in pots along side the drive that tilt outwards.

      You know it makes sense.

      1) I should have been a musician, me.

      1. gaz 7
        Thumb Up

        Re: But does the door

        This is so cool, and I also thought of it.

        I would be so tempted, but dont have a garage, but do have a wife that would at the very least divorce me if I did something so geeky.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    At last

    Someone's found a use for the iPhone.

  12. DarkTherapy


    I suppose I could make siri ask me to say "please" open the garage door..

  13. Fading Silver badge

    How long before the patent...

    Apple iDoor - you know they thought of it first.

    1. I think so I am?

      Re: How long before the patent...

      Its such a shame that it will never open the garden gates.

    2. phil mcracken

      Re: How long before the patent...

      However long it takes Apple to round off the corners of the garage door...

  14. Matt Bradley

    Pod Bay Doors

    ... missed opportunity.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    As an enthusiast for both RaspberryPI and Arduino, I would have thought that Arduino would have been more suited to this task. It's a basic microcontroller, rather than a fully specked computer. It's also smaller and cheaper and comes in many different packages suitable for connection to a circuit board.

    1. DarkTherapy
      Thumb Up

      Re: Hmm...

      Yes, arduino would do the same thing, but I'd then have to add wifi/Ethernet and a way of it intercepting Siri requests.. It would have cost about the same in hardware but the pi has the advantage of using passwordless logins to other networked devices, such as my laptop or XBMC running on my Apple TV. I can ask siri to play media on my XBMC or shutdown/reboot my laptop for example, not so easy from an Arduino.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hmm...

        Yes, I didn't mention that often I've found myself making things which use seemingly inappropriate hardware for reasons other than that of the task in hand. I will also be dedicating some time in the new year to really getting to grips with the RasPI interfacing with electronics and punting data around a network. I'm thinking ethernet connected Geiger counter, which would be doable on the Arduino, but will allow me to make a framework for other home monitoring projects so the RasPI can host them, graph them and run a database etc etc.

    2. fajensen Silver badge

      Re: Hmm...

      Yes, but ... hardware these days is so cheap. The really "pricey" item is actually the time that one has to spend hacking it into doing ones bidding.

      Quite a few of the sub USD 5,00 MSP430 micro-controllers have more RAM, more "disk" (flash), more MIPS and more I/O bandwith than my first Dell 286 PC - which cost me GBP 1200!

  16. ukgnome

    Siri, I shall be home in ten minuets - please have the garage open

    ten mins later...."This is your reminder to call the vet"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Ten minuets

      "I shall be home in ten minuets."

      Nothing like getting around by string quartet.

      1. ukgnome

        Re: Ten minuets

        Bugger and blast!

  17. Colin Wilson 2

    The next step would be to tie it with the iPhone ring-fenced location thing so that it automatically opened the garage door as you drove up your road. It would have to monitor your speed too, so it could tell that you are driving, not walking.

    The only snag is that Apple Maps currently thinks I live a couple of miles away from my house. I'd have to drive to where it thinks I live to trigger the thing, then race back before the doors had timed out and shut themselves again.

    But I'm sure they will fix it - eventually!

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    instructions can be found here:

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gotta have this one!

    Marvin, I have a REAL door for you to open - 10' by 40', 3/4 hp 220 volt motor, it is the door to my hangar. I'll buzz the field, call the door on my phone and you can have the hangar open for me when I taxi up to it after landing. Oh yeah! Note to self, don't try flying through the hangar a la' Bond, there's no back door on it to open, and that's gonna hurt if I try it. And have a Diet Coke ready for me, stirred, not shaken.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Buy a tripod

    Pet peeve regarding online amateur video. I have no desire to become seasick, no matter how "BEST EVA!!!!" your video is.

    1. DarkTherapy
      Thumb Up

      Re: Buy a tripod

      The next video I make and describe as "BEST EVA!!11" I will make sure I use a tripod just for you.

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