Problem: So many times it happens that when mothers (or anyone for that matter) are filling buckets of water to clean the house, filling water bottles, filling utensils with water, they unknowingly let the tap flow. And this adds on from household to household, resulting in 45 trillion gallons of water wasted annually due to overflowing of water from taps in sinks, showers, bath tubs, toilets and washing machines!
Solution: Developing an original mechanism to automatically switch off taps when they overflow through use of an ultrasonic sensor and a “tap filling” mode which can be enabled from the app. This seems like a problem that must have been addressed, but a quick google will tell you that this has NEVER BEEN DONE BEFORE.
Problem: A problem that often goes unacknowledged is how redundant the process of handwashing is. You have dirty hands and open the tap with them (making the tap dirty), after washing you use your hands to again touch the dirty tap you touched with your dirty hands initially, essentially making it redundant (as your hand gets dirty again). This has become especially important due to the onset of the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic. 45% of the millions of cases worldwide are caused due to direct contact with surfaces such as taps. There are approximately 1,000,000 bacteria/cm^3 on the surface of the faucet. Hence, making it all the more necessary to address these issues of sanitation and human health.
Solution: Using automatic tap control to avoid touching the tap and thus preventing contact with pathogens. This concept of automatic control is not new on its own, but my device is much cheaper and can be installed on outdated taps (whereas the ones present currently require you to replace the old tap), making it more practical. There are technical advantages also as ours works even during a power outage whereas existing automatic taps don’t.
Problem: How many times has it happened that when you are out on a trip your mom suddenly worries over whether you closed the tap in your bathroom or not. How many times has it happened that you yourself let the tap running either while brushing or just forgot about it. This produces a lot of water wastage and thus must also be addressed.
Solution: Due to the automatic nature of the tap, it automatically closes the tap if no one is using it, saving a tonne of water
Problem: There are so many houses (in developing and underdeveloped countries) around the world that do not know their water consumption and as a wise man once said “Awareness is the greatest catalyst for change”, it is necessary that they are made aware of this.
Solution: This lets them measure their tap water usage through water flow sensor and the app
Problem: More water is used than is actually required for most tasks as the water is dispensed inefficiently and in bulk
Solution: Using a water atomiser (by changing nozzle size) to increase water surface area, results in less water required for the same task, hence saving water. It reduces the volume of water dispensed per minute.
We do not believe in massive changes, we do not believe in large scale infrastructural changes, we believe in inculcating long standing habits in our users to promote environmental sustainability ideals across the world. We believe in promoting water conservation, improving sanitation, and making lives easier.
This is easily scalable and we estimate it to cost about $15.30 per unit, making it cheap.
What it does
1) Automatic Tap Control
2) Prevents Overflowing Vessels
3) Measures Water Usage
4) Water atomiser (helps in using water efficiently as it turns droplets into mist)
5) Dispensing the exact amount of water needed for tasks such as cooking and gardening. Next time, you are out on a trip, you do not have to worry about who is going to take care of your plants, as this tap extension would do it!
6) Provide analytics based on water usage, give trend graphs etc. Through the app, giving them badges, setting up challenges with their friends/family to compete on reducing water usage (making the process fun and like what smartwatches have done to health). In other words, we aim to do something like what smart watches have done to health and well being (through fitness apps) to water conservation in a manner that incentivises the user and does not make the task of conserving water seem like a burden on them
How we built it
1) 2 infrared sensors, 1 ultrasonic sensor, 1 water flow sensor, jumper wires
2) HC-06 Bluetooth Module and Arduino Uno, Arduino Shield, Servo motor
3) Plastic Bottle, Glue Gun, Soldering Iron
4) Syringe, Delivery Tube, U-pin
It was built using Arduino and MIT App Inventor
Challenges we ran into
Developing the code for the ultrasonic sensor was particularly difficult. While building the hardware there were some difficulties but in the end we managed to pull things together and make it work. Coming up with a mechanism for water atomisation
Accomplishments that we're proud of
The coding and the idea we were able to come up with, as we believe it has a real world impact if implemented.
What's next for Aqua
Taking it to the next level, expanding its use, and turning it into a product present in every household :)
Link for Code Explaination: https://youtu.be/unqXFTuVDGg
Demonstration with Normal Speed: https://youtu.be/q-slybShMY0
Link for app has been attached below.