So I get to work on building a client at work for industrial automation. I am building a mini hmi to show customers how our server works. The code uses opcua. The reason I am making a client is because all the opcua hmis on the market are really expensive. There is nothing less than $600. There are hmis for free out there, but none of them say they support opcua. opcua has become a major protocol in the industrial automation industry.

It took me about 2 days to gin together a client that is pretty much abstracted and will be easy to maintain. A lot of that was just learning the opcua library client code.

Now I want to create servers and clients geared toward home automation for fun and profit. I want to take sensor data from arduinos using a simple serial protocol like modbus or other protocols that are supported. Then have an opcua server that collects this data. Then finally have an opcua hmi that I develop talk to these servers. The security model is much better and would be compatible with other vendors clients/servers. I already have a game engine I want to use for the hmi portion. It has tons of widgets for displaying data, graphs, lists, text, etc. It does both 2d and 3d.

This sounds like a project that could really fun, meshes with my work learning, and provides value to people that want to automate their lives.

The other side effect is that the next time I go looking for a simple and cheap hmi that supports opcua, there will be one.

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