Berkeley DIYer Creates Ultimate Automated Dorm Room
Derek Low used X10 and a few hundred dollars to add tech to his place at Berkeley.
May 02, 2012 by Rachel Cericola

We’ve seen plenty of DIYers hook up home theaters, backyards, and even pool areas. Very few, however, are out there hooking up dorm rooms. 

Freshman Derek Low rigged up his Berkeley dorm room with something he calls B.R.A.D., which is short for “Berkeley Ridiculously Automated Dorm.” According to The Daily Californian, Derek started the install on February 4 and finished just a few days ago. He then uploaded a 6-minute YouTube video (see below) to show off his completed project—and of course, people are taking notice.

That’s probably because Derek has one of the few dorm rooms with automated lighting, drapes, music, motion detection, and more. He can control everything through voice recognition, but a wireless remote, his iPhone and his iPad are also in on the control party.

Speaking of which, he also has a “Emergency Party Button,” which provides music, strobe lights, a trippy laser show, a rotating disco ball and a fog machine, all at the touch of a button. In contrast, there’s also a Romantic Mode. Hello, ladies!

Working with a budget of just a few hundred dollars, Derek created most of the magic using X10 software and the ActiveHome Computer Interface (CM15A). For a closer peek at Derek’s project, click through our slideshow. He also has a complete list of materials and other details about the dorm listed on his website.

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Rachel Cericola - Contributing Writer
Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at

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