It’s so fun to turn lights just saying: “Ok, Siri. Turn on the light”. But sometime you may want to do it remotely. The most convenient way for me is to send simple command to personal telegram bot. There are many libraries in different languages for controlling your Orvibo socket:

The last one is great but it has a lot of code for networking. And it isn’t so hard to write Orvibo client using Netty. In addition, you will get http interface almost for free.

I will use reverse engineered protocol specification. It’s well described. Complete source and examples you can find on Github.

Add netty to dependencies to your build.gradle:

compile group: 'io.netty', name: 'netty-all', version: '4.1.6.Final'

First, we need to initialize channel. Orvibo uses UDP protocol and Netty has special channel implementations: OioDatagramChannel, NioDatagramChannel and EpollDatagramChannel. Difference between them is only in their internal blocking behavior, your choice should be based on your performance requirements.

EventLoopGroup loopGroup = new NioEventLoopGroup();
Bootstrap bootstrap = new Bootstrap();;
bootstrap.option(ChannelOption.SO_BROADCAST, true); // we need to send broadcast discovery

Then we should configure pipeline. Each message, incoming or outgoing, passes through channel’s handlers chain. Incoming passes from first to last handler, outgoing in opposite direction.

bootstrap.handler(new ChannelInitializer<NioDatagramChannel>() {
     protected void initChannel(NioDatagramChannel ch) throws Exception {
              .addLast(new DatagramEncoder(RECIPIENT))
              .addLast(new MessageDecoder())
              .addLast(new MessageEncoder())

Netty has many handful handlers, one of the most interesting of them for us is MessageToMessageEncoder. DatagramChannel produces DatagramPacket for each UDP packet. We could do all our stuff in single handler, but it would lead to hard supportable code. Fortunately, each orvibo message contains a header with the command it and we can separate processing different command to different handlers:

  68 64 - Magic Key 
  00 18 - Full Message Length = 24bytes 
  63 6C - Command ID ?

MessageDecoder consumes DatagramPacket, extracts message id and writes simple data class back to the channel:

public class MessageDecoder extends MessageToMessageDecoder<DatagramPacket> {

    protected void decode(ChannelHandlerContext ctx, DatagramPacket msg, List<Object> out) throws Exception {
        ByteBuf content = msg.content();
        ByteBuf magicBytes = content.readBytes(2);
        int length = content.readShort(); // short holds also 2 bytes
        ByteBuf commandBytes = content.readBytes(2);

        Message message = new Message();
        // ... fill message
        out.add(message); // pass produced message forward through pipeline


For support sending same message container, we have to add a message to ByteBuf converter and ByteBuf to DatagramPacket. And again, we would just encode Message to DatagramPacket, but I think it is better to separate them:

public class MessageEncoder extends MessageToMessageEncoder<Message> {
    protected void encode(ChannelHandlerContext ctx, Message msg, List<Object> out) throws Exception {
        ByteBuf buf = Unpooled.buffer();

DatagramEncoder implementation is pretty straightforward so I will skip it. From now, we can send Message but not receive them because pipeline doesn’t have a handler for them. But before, add a converter from generic Message to DiscoveryResponse. As before, extend MessageToMessageDecoder<Message> but now we don’t need to catch all Message. We want to skip messages which have command id different from discovery. It’s very easy to do, just override acceptInboundMessage:

public boolean acceptInboundMessage(Object msg) throws Exception {
    if (!super.acceptInboundMessage(msg)) {
        return false;

    // from now we can be sure that there is a Message instance
    CommandId commandId = ((Message) msg).getCommandId();
    return commandId == CommandId.DISCOVERY;

Then we can add handlers for each type of message very easy:

public class DiscoveryHandler extends SimpleChannelInboundHandler<DiscoveryResponse> {
    protected void channelRead0(ChannelHandlerContext ctx, DiscoveryResponse msg) throws Exception {
        // handle msg

Finally initialize channel and use channel:

channel = bootstrap.bind(10000).sync().channel();
Message message = getCommand(); // discovery command