Design a system to help maintain the water fresh and clean. It will float around a pool and collect solid matter such as leaves. To accomplish this, it will use a water pump to create a waterflow through a filter that will collect the undesired objects floating around. It will also use specific sensors to measure the temperature and pH of the water and will inform the user with LEDs.
We wanted to make something that is useful and marketable once complete, and designing a water-based system adds challenges that we can learn from to improve our skills as engineers for future projects. Cleaning leaves/small debris as well as correcting the pH of the pool can be tedious tasks. These can be automated easily with our project and we can additionally show if the water is too cold. The pH sensor will be able to determine if the water needs additional chemicals and will automatically balance the pH levels using chemicals dispensers.
The main goal is to maintain a pool automatically. To achieve this we will: Collect solid matter that would normally fall into a pool and float around Measure and balance water pH using chlorine and baking soda dispensers when needed. Display measurements with LEDs Must float even when off and be retrievable without entering the water
Build the mechanical part of the system. 3D print the parts needed and set up the water flow needed to collect solid matter. Built the chlorine and baking soda dispenser. Write initial software to control LEDs and output PWM as well as read in GPIO pins and ADC pins.
Have a finalized system that will maintain a pool automatically. It will balance the pH and keep the surface clean.
We wanted to start with problems that we would like to solve and features we would like to work on. Then we narrowed them down into realistic projects that we could do with our given constraints and came up with a general project with general components. We then selected components and made electrical/mechanical designs and adjusted the project as necessary. Finally, we will be working on our code and putting everything together while ensuring that we can complete the goals as the project comes to completion.
This result is able to filter out solid matter from the surface of pools like we wanted. It also measures the pH of the pool water properly and is able to dispense chlorine/baking soda to balance the pH properly. If the pH is too far out of the normal range then the system also properly lights up an LED.
Video link: https://youtu.be/UNXLD0LyLhc
Meeting and communicating remotely went quite well since we were able to meet in person once to plan and share parts initially. We were able to divide the workload in a way that allowed us to both meaningfully contribute and integrate everything as time went on. We did have some issues with shipping and were not able to get all of our parts quickly but we adapted with only minor changes required. We did not anticipate issues relating to the PCB but the manufacturer used incorrect units resulting in an improperly sized board and since the manufacturer was using a low quality PCB printer we also encountered issues with connections. A next step would be to add additional safety measures and adjust the design from a prototype to a marketable product. We could adjust the dispensers so they dispense a tablet at a time rather than dispensing liquid. When they dispense liquid, they are single use instead of being able to maintain the pH balance of the pool for an extended period of time. Currently the entire system is undersized to save on costs for our prototype but we would scale this up a bit so it could capture more with the filter and could pump far more water.