Connecting to the Aquareness sensor
The always needed splash activiy :)
Listing devices info
Login screen of the web platform
Stats of the user
Easy to see who is wasting water - a great feature when living with roommates!
View of the hardware components
View of the hardware components
The aquareness water flow sensor with led light attached
Drinking water is becoming a very limited resource. Drought is one problem that some people are facing everyday and although it may not affect us today, it can do someday. Prevention is one of the keys to succeed when the problem arises and wanting to create something to help people, even if it only raises its awareness about the real problem, would be a great way to put my bit in helping society. The main idea would be to create a personal water footprint which we can check, share and improve.
What it does
Aquareness lets you be aware of the water consumption in your daily life and see by yourself if you're wasting too much water while taking showers or dishwashing, for example. It allows you to keep control of who is using more water in a house and act accordingly - just imagine if a roommate decides to take daily baths for a month straight, splitting water costs among the roommates would be easier knowing the proportion of water consumed by each member! It can be used as an educational tool for the younger ones, teaching them the virtues of using the right amount of water that should be used while doing chores like cleaning dishes or when taking a shower.
How I built it
The project is divided in 3 different implementations that work together:
Hardware - I made an early prototype while waiting for the Artik board using an Arduino Uno, a neopixel led and a flow meter sensor. After receiving the Artik board, I moved everything to work there, using the advanced capabilities of the board that allowed me to connect with the Android App. The basic operation of the hardware here is to display different colors when the threshold set by the user is surpassed, and connect with the android app to update the data being collected.
Android app - The android app uses a service that checks if one of the paired devices is on range, and if it is it connects to it, telling the hardware to start counting water, and updating it's threshold if needed. The app updates all the data collected and sends it to the server, among with the owner id, and this information gets saved in the web server.
Website - The website is used to visualize all the data of the different devices installed. The user can set a range of dates to get the different data gathered between two days and can check the use of a device in comparison with the other users of the installation.
Challenges I ran into
Using a new device from scratch : it was an honor to be one of the first persons to play around the artik board, although it was kinda confusing at first trying to get things running I managed to make it work in the end. I had a lot of trouble with the initial configuration (I was moving the jumpers when I wasn't supposed to, for example) or trying to make the neopixels work (which I couldn't succeed, so I moved on using a normal RGB led to display the different thresholds).
Creating something useful : the idea of creating something that anyone could use in a easy way, in any house anywhere, was one of the biggest challenges here.
Trying to go in one direction when you can find a shortcut or an easier way to display your results (I'm talking about my frustration trying to use neopixels here!) - so sometimes it's better to think simpler and let the upgrades come later.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
Being one of the first persons in the world to make a project using the Artik board!
Creating a product that I believe in, and which can be useful for a lot of people.
What I learned
· Some things about Fedora that I didn't know. · A lot about Samsung's Artik board and it's features. · A wider knowledge of the IOT world.
· And a lot of things related to editing video using Adobe Premiere :)
What's next for Aquareness
· Minimize : The developement board is huge, installing the artik chip in the Aquareness sensor would be a better way to make the device user - friendly.
· Energy : Finding a way to make the devices work without a required power source. I have been investigating about water turbines and I have found some that could fit my needs here. Using a small lithium battery to start the device and keeping it in a waiting state, and charge it using the power of water, as in a small hydroelectric plant.
· Water protection : Find or create an enclosure to hold all the components in an Aquareness sensor to make it water proof.
· Upgrade the app : To be able to configure and view all the options that are available in the website, like setting a threshold of a device, and so on.
· Upgrade the website : To add more options, more data visualization modes, socializing the Aquareness users creating profiles and allowing them to get in touch with each other.
· Gamification : Turn some of the options into a game, create leader boards and achievements.
· Education : Work in the educational values of saving water.