Diassu software engaged in the Samsung Makers Against Drought Challenge in August of 2015 to help California resolve a serious water drought situation arising from a general lack of rainfall and other uncontrollable factors. Even though the Toilet and Washing Machine use more water, Diassu chose the Shower, the third largest user of water at 17.2 gallons per shower (1). According to Home Water Works Organization, the “…average American shower uses 17.2 gallons (65.1 liters) and lasts for 8.2 minutes at average flow rate of 2.1 gallons per minute (gpm) (7.9 lpm).” Upon further analysis by Diassu Software, we realized that up to 5/8 - 2/3 of the time that is spent in the shower is during the initial startup and relax phase where the person is just relaxing and preparing to soap up or actually take a shower. For example in the startup phase the person is not even in the shower and is waiting for the water to heat up. This of course happens more during the winter than the summer, but we figured that we could save this 1/2 * 17.2 gallons every day for 365 days per year and we could use this water for other things such as irrigation. How much water is this? For an average home this adds up to 12.9 gallons per shower and 3139 gallons per year per person. If we assumed that we installed this technology just in new homes and for just one person of the homes that are expected to be permitted this year, at 1,167,000 then Diassu’s technology will save 3,663,213,000 gallons of water for just irrigation next year. With an average family size of 3, that adds up to 10 billion gallons of water. For California alone there will be about 95,552 permits for new homes next year and that would add up to 299,937,782 gallons or 300 Million gallons of water. This is an astounding amount of water. What could this mean for California is that they could save over 1/2 of the water they use each day for a showers to recycle it in any way they choose. Goals The goals of this project were to help conserve water in California and across the United States in coming years by proposing a new set of technologies based upon the Samsung Artik 1,5 and 10 computers being installed in homes over the next several years along with water purification and water saving tanks. This project was simply meant to show how water can be saved for home irrigation purposes, but by applying technology similar to what is used in the International Space station, how water can be recycled.

Project Outline Below are shown the various parts to the System design and images of the project: The software prototype is completed and actually will operate a shower in the lab. We are in the process of building out an actual shower to demonstrate this during the finals if Diassu Software is chosen as a finalist. Images of the hardware prototype with valves are shown below. The video that we produced at xyz shows the completed project and summarizes this document. We will continue to integrate the lab design in the final shower project to complete for competition during the final build phase of the project. We are actually 2 months ahead of schedule for the final prototype. The average savings assuming a $0.02 to $0.05 per gallon charge in California according to (3) and (4). Other sources of information are listed below in references (3)


Sources of information

What it does

It uses the Artik 10 device to conserve up to 2/3 of the water a person taking a shower uses and will save a family of 3 about 182/person or 545/year for a typical family. This means that if every new house built in California next year installed one of Diassu's devices that the State of California would save about 300 Million gallons of water next year.

How I built it

It is built in the C programming language using the Eclipse platform.


Diassu software built a prototype using 2 laser sensors: Laser Sensor 1 controls the water turning on and off in the shower. The control WATER ON and WATER OFF is sent from the DIASSU_MAD_SHOWER_T process to the DIASSU_CMD process. When the person using the shower enters the shower area in front of the shower, they break a laser beam wired to the first analog (A0) input on the Artik 10. When the light is not shining on the light sensitive resistor, the analog value goes to a higher value of about 4095 and indicates that the beam is broken and in turn initiates a status output control (J27 pin 9 and J27 pin 8) to be driven low on the Sainsmart relay card. Two relays controls and two Artik 10 status outputs are used for each valve as one relay driven on will close the valve and both driven on will open the valve. So 4 relays and two valves are alternated to control the tank to sewage switch and 2 relays are used to control the water going into the shower. In future releases of the software, we plan to add 2 valves on the water input and we plan to control the water temperature for the user. This fell outside of the specs of the water savings project and would have confused the water savings purpose here, so it was left out and only one valve controls the water going on and off.

Laser Sensor II works similarly to LasterSensor 1 and is in the soap dish and shampoo area on the shower. When the user reaches into the soap dish, the second analog input (A1) is driven low and the TANK OFF command and DRAIN ON command is issued to the DIASSU_CMD process and 4 relays are driven to control the state of V3 and V4 in the diagrams in the images attached to this submittal. The TANK OFF command opens the DRAIN valve allowing the dirty water to be diverted from the clean water tank to the drain.

In the final phases of this competition, the Artik 10 will be integrated into the final built solution and the software will be expanded to use a PH sensor to turn the water tank back on more reliably.

In summary, we found that with only 3 automated motor valves along with software developed in the C programming language to automatically save water during the first 2/3 phase of the shower so that approximately 8.6 to 12.9 gallons are saved per shower. We plan to add historical data collection to the project in the finals phase if we are chosen to prove out the exact amount of water being saved and depending upon the funding we receive from private investors.

Challenges I ran into

Getting the Eclipse environment setup properly and had significant challenges with the Arduino IDE, so I switched to C because of the multi-threading capabilities.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

The I/O breakout, electronics etc and the Sainsmart relay card were configured by John Kruebbe along with the two C processes (software package) and actual construction of the shower. I learned a lot about process control and electronics that I did not know before the project.

What I learned

How to program the Artik 10 and how to control valves and read sensors on the Artik 10. Before this project I only worked with larger RTU (Remote Terminal Units) from Schneider Electric and PLCs.

What's next for Diassu MAD Shower

We are going to add the features mentioned above market this as one of our Green products once it is completed and will test install it in some homes!

Built With

  • artik-10
  • c
  • relays
  • shower-parts
  • valves
Share this project: