/> ED I T O R S C H O I C E IN N O V A T IO N A W A R D
X

A smart home custom-made for a wounded veteran

Retired US Marine Corps Sgt. Rob Jones and his wife, Pam, are seeing their new smart home for the first time.

meganwollertonportraits0719-23a
Megan Wollerton
rob-jones-house-tour-44
1 of 33 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Meet retired US Marine Corps Sgt. Rob Jones. 

He was wounded in Afghanistan in 2010, which resulted in double above-the-knee amputations.

rob-jones-house-tour-1
2 of 33 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, a non-profit that builds custom homes for veterans critically injured in the line of duty, built this home for Rob and his wife, Pam.

The home sits on 13 acres in Loudon County, VA, roughly an hour's drive from Washington, DC. It is full of smart home technology.

rob-jones-house-tour-3
3 of 33 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Rob and Pam are about to see the inside of the house for the first time and a lot of people are here for the unveiling.

4 of 33 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Rob and Pam plan to farm the land and turn it into a business. 

rob-jones-house-tour-12
5 of 33 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

This is the first time they're seeing the inside of the house. 

rob-jones-house-tour-13
6 of 33 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

They picked out the paint colors, furniture and more.

rob-jones-house-tour-16
7 of 33 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

So they know what to expect, more or less. But they've been waiting since before construction began in late fall of 2018 to actually see it in person. 

rob-jones-house-tour-26
8 of 33 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

A Patriot Guard Rider greets Rob in his new home.

rob-jones-house-tour-27
9 of 33 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

They sit down in the smaller living room off the main entry to share what it feels like to finally be in their new home.

rob-jones-house-tour-48
10 of 33 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

A large half bathroom in the entryway can accommodate Rob's wheelchair.

The toilet automatically opens and has a bunch of other cool features. 

rob-jones-house-tour-34
11 of 33 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Tunnel to Towers installed a Control4 smart home system in the house. The brains of the system hangs out in this closet. 

rob-jones-house-tour-40
12 of 33 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Their kitchen also has a bunch of neat features.

rob-jones-house-tour-19
13 of 33 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Rob and Pam love to cook, so they're particularly excited about this room.

rob-jones-house-tour-18
14 of 33 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

They plan to cook most of their food from their own garden.

rob-jones-house-tour-20
15 of 33 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Trevor Tamsen, assistant manager of media relations at Tunnel to Towers points out some of the key features in the kitchen. 

rob-jones-house-tour-21
16 of 33 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The cooktop, for instance, raises and lowers at the press of a button.

rob-jones-house-tour-38
17 of 33 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

This way, Rob can cook when he's using his wheelchair and will still be able to see what he's doing.

rob-jones-house-tour-37
18 of 33 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The microwave was mounted to the bottom cabinet for easy access.

rob-jones-house-tour-22
19 of 33 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Rob tests it out. 

rob-jones-house-tour-36
20 of 33 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Even the faucet is smart.

rob-jones-house-tour-23
21 of 33 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

When Rob swiped his hand past it, it turn on.

rob-jones-house-tour-50
22 of 33 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The laundry area past the kitchen leads to the garage out back. They have a Honeywell home security system, complete with a touchscreen display panel. 

rob-jones-house-tour-47
23 of 33 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

This living room is the central meeting spot in the house, directly off the kitchen.

rob-jones-house-tour-28
24 of 33 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Tunnel to Towers was founded in 2001 in honor of fallen firefighter Stephen Siller. 

Siller was off duty when the first plane hit the World Trade Center, but he joined other first responders and lost his life in 9/11. 

Tunnel to Towers presented Rob with a piece of steel from the World Trade Center.

rob-jones-house-tour-31
25 of 33 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

This is Rob and Pam's bedroom.

rob-jones-house-tour-32
26 of 33 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

It has smart fans, lighting and much more.

rob-jones-house-tour-25
27 of 33 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Their bathroom was a highlight of the house tour.

rob-jones-house-tour-30
28 of 33 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Not only does it have stunning tile work and modern fixtures, but it also has some hidden smart tech.

rob-jones-house-tour-29
29 of 33 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Like the hallway bathroom, this bathroom has the same smart toilet. 

rob-jones-house-tour-33
30 of 33 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

They have a couple of guest bedrooms, too.

rob-jones-house-tour-49
31 of 33 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Their house is a ranch-style, with everything on one level.

rob-jones-house-tour-41
32 of 33 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

There's also an office area.

rob-jones-house-tour-42
33 of 33 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Rob Jones earned a Purple Heart for his service.

More Galleries

The best games on Nintendo Switch

More Galleries

The best games on Nintendo Switch

41 Photos
The new Genesis G90 looks incredible

More Galleries

The new Genesis G90 looks incredible

6 Photos
Movies coming in 2021 and 2022 from Netflix, Marvel, HBO and more

More Galleries

Movies coming in 2021 and 2022 from Netflix, Marvel, HBO and more

67 Photos
2021 best new TV shows to watch, stream, obsess about

More Galleries

2021 best new TV shows to watch, stream, obsess about

65 Photos
The 51 best VR games

More Galleries

The 51 best VR games

53 Photos
Best dating apps of 2021

More Galleries

Best dating apps of 2021

13 Photos
International Space Station shines in glamour shots from SpaceX Crew Dragon

More Galleries

International Space Station shines in glamour shots from SpaceX Crew Dragon

10 Photos