When we approached the subject of the great outdoors, one of the first things that came to mind was water usage, and how to efficiently collect and use water while allowing you to enjoy nature. So we came up with a simple solution: BRain
What it does
BRain automatically deploys if rain is detected with humidity readings, stretching out a canvas that catches rain and directs it down to a water collection tank. This tank also measures the amount of water it contains and will notify you through an application when the tank is full. Furthermore, either when the tank is full or when it stops raining, the canopy with retract automatically.
How we built it
We built it using three main platforms. First for the hardware we used the ESP 32 with the Arduino IDE to collect humidity and pressure reading, as well as to control the servo motors that deploy and retract the canopy. Then for the software, we built an IOS application using Swift that connects to the device using bluetooth. The application uses the device readings to dynamically display data, and additionally uses an api to display weather readings. Finally, we built the small scale prototype canopy structure with wooden skewers, planks, canvases, and lots of hot glue.
Challenges we ran into
Some challenges we ran into include issues regarding the sending and receiving of data between the ESP32 and the IOS application, difficulty getting our canopy structure to be stable, and obstacles learning how to code using Swift.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We're very proud of all that we accomplished during this short time, namely making a working canopy prototype, a simple application, and being able to successfully set up our system with the ESP 32.
What we learned
One of the main things we learned is that carpentry is not a stable career choice for any of us. Additionally, we learned that teamwork makes the dream work. Finally, we learned how ESP 32 chips work, and how to build something in Swift.
What's next for BRain
BRain, hopefully, might get a better prototype and a substantial application with more functionality.