Our team was inspired by the difficulties that the growers have to go through in managing their irrigation systems manually. In the event of a rain, the grower has to choose between going out in the rain or losing money on buying the water she doesn't need to.
What it does
It collects soil moisture data from the farm and monitors it to maintain the ideal amount of water in the soil by regulating the irrigation. It lets growers control their irrigation systems remotely (if using pivots or drip irrigation) via SMS and is capable of alerting growers who use manual gates to control irrigation by flooding.
How we built it
Soil moisture ratio of every plot on the farm is monitored by a sensor which is attached to an arduino and arduinos are attached to the irrigation pumps/engines. All the arduinos are in turn connected to a Raspberry Pi which acts as a station and also acts as the connection between the grower and the irrigation pumps/engines. The Raspberry has a GSM module attached to it which alerts the grower about when to start/stop irrigation. It also seeks the grower's permission via SMS to turn the engines on/off.
Challenges we ran into
To put our IoT idea into hardware and get it to do basic things as desired by us, given that we were using multiple interfaces namely, GSM module, Wi-Fi module, Raspberry Pi, and Arduino. The next challenge was to actually stimulate everything using code without using any commands after the process is started once. This was challenging because of the different languages we had to code in for all our different interfaces. What this means is once we start the process, everything else is automated. The wifi adapter of our Raspberry Pi corrupted which compelled us to do a hard on the OS and install the Raspberry Pi OS all over again, twice! To upload all of our data received through sensors on the cloud.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
That we're providing all growers a convenient medium to monitor their irrigation remotely. The technical know-how of using this technology is next to NIL, once it has been set up. All the growers need to do is communicate with the Raspberry Pi over SMS in simple English (or their desired language).
What we learned
A lot of stuff demonstrated during our presentation!
What's next for Remote Irrigation
Next is to incorporate more sensors and even develop an app to control the irrigation for growers who have smart phones.