Our project idea is a weight scale that notifies the owner when the soap/shampoo from a pump bottle is running low. This scale would be able to use the Internet of Things to send a notification to a smartphone. We would also like this product to have the ability to directly order a new bottle of shampoo/soap from Amazon when the bottle reached a certain weight. The two sensor associated with this product would be (1) the scale to measure the weight of the bottle and (2) a reset button that allows the owner to reset the scale when a new bottle is replaced so that the system knows to send another message or order another bottle the next time the soap/shampoo is running low.
Team Member roles Claire - primarily hardware, assist with coding Gibby - primarily coding, assist with hardware
Parts needed: Arduino Breadboard Scale (weight) Button (for reset) Jumper cables Plastic casing to cover the system
Final Write-Up The idea behind “Shampoo Voodoo” is to provide people with an alert on their smartphones when a pump bottle of soap or shampoo is running low. With pump bottles, it is easy to use the soap/shampoo again and again without picking the bottle up. Therefore, it can be an annoyance to remember to check when the soap/shampoo is running low. Now, “Shampoo Voodoo” provides an alert when the bottle dips below a particular weight. Our product used two sensors: a force sensor and a button. The force sensor measured the weight of the bottle on top of the sensor and reported the weight to our Blynk application via the Internet of Things method. Once, the weight becomes less than a certain value, the Blynk application sends a push notification on the smartphone to alert the user that he/she needs to buy more soap/shampoo. The button acts as a reset button. The Blynk application will continue to send notifications until the bottle is refilled or the button is pressed. After the button is pressed, notifications would stop. The button is then pressed again to signify that the bottle is refilled and will signal the Blynk application to send notifications when the bottle is running low again. Our group met several times to discuss this project idea and to use the methods of Internet of Things and other concepts from the ESE-190 class to create the final product. While the hardware was not too difficult to figure out, we had some trouble adapting the codes we had learned in class to this project. We ran into issues where the Blynk app would send notifications every few seconds and we could not stop it. The idea was that the button would act as a reset button but we could not get the code right. We eventually got it to work by using an “else” statement. With this trouble behind us, the project came together pretty easily. To implement the hardware aspect of this project, we soldered the force sensor to two long jumper cables. Then, we connected this sensor to our breadboard that was subsequently connected to our MKR1000. Finally, we installed the reset button to the breadboard to allow users to turn the alert feature on or off. The hardware was pretty self explanatory and did not differ much from what we had done with other sensors in class. To implement the software aspect of this project, we used Arduino to provide the code that allowed the force sensor to relay the weight measurements to the Blynk application on our smartphone and told the Blynk app to send a notification when the force reading was below a certain number (in this case 10). We also coded a way for the button to toggle on/off the notification feature so that the user’s phone would not be inundated with Shampoo Voodoo notifications. This project could be turned into a real product if we were able to enclose all of the parts so that there were no exposed wires. It would also be helpful if this casing made the product mostly waterproof so that users could safely use the product for its intended purpose in the shower. There would also be other practical applications of this product with a few minor modifications. For example, if we changed the code to send a notification if the force measured above a certain weight as opposed to below a certain weight, this product could be used for waste management services to notify a company of when a waste container is full and needs to be picked up or disposed of. Even without any modifications, this product could be used as a safeguard to notify someone if something valuable was moved or stolen. Some potential improvements we could make include making the system only send one notification automatically instead of relying on the user to press the reset button to turn off notifications. This way, the user would only have to tap the reset button when the bottle is replaced. This project could as be more useful if we found a way to partner with a retailer such as Amazon. People may find it helpful if this system could automatically order their favorite shampoo when it runs low.