Gardening is a very skillful job. You need to have knowledge about different kinds of plants and soil. Each plant has its own needs and requires special attention. You also need to regularly monitor the plant water and take care of all the necessary things. It requires skill and attention. Many people who may have a hobby of gardening may not be able to do so because of a lack of time and skills. To make gardening fun and accessible to everyone we came up with this idea!
What it does
Our product monitors the plant using different sensors to collect data like soil moisture, temperature, humidity, etc. We also have a motor which will water your plant automatically. All the data collected is displayed in real-time on the mobile app and you can water your plant automatically with a click of a button! Our app also has a feature where you can click a picture of the plant and it'll automatically detect the type of plant and display all the necessary information.
How we built it
To collect the data we used sensors like soil moisture sensors to measure the amount of moisture in the soil, we used DHT11 to measure the humidity and temperature, a motor to pump the water, and a motor driver to control the motor. All of this was controlled using NodeMCU microcontroller which read and collected all the values from the senor and using the inbuilt ESP8266 WiFi module pushed the data to a real-time Firebase database. We developed the mobile app for iOS using Swift and Xcode and implemented all the features. The app continuously fetches data from the cloud and also has the ability to give you reminders to water your plant.
Challenges we ran into
Recently Firebase for RTDB changed the authentication process, so we ran onto a lot of issues debugging it. Also, we had 2 motors and both of them stopped working so we had to make the project with a defective motor. While developing the app we ran into multiple problems while implementing the plant detection system and was spent the whole night debugging it.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We were successfully able to implement all the necessary features and are quite proud of the fact that we did it in less than the stipulated timeframe.
What we learned
We were able to explore new features in swift and successfully implement a unique app all on our own. We got to learn how to make IoT products using Firebase and integrate different sensors together.
What's next for E-Gardner
The product can be expanded to accommodate large farms with an array of sensors and all the data available to farmers on their mobile We would like the completely eliminate the use of Firebase for sensor data exchange and messaging as it makes the process relatively slow.