Hydroponic automation through the use of IoT

1 Business Opportunity In today’s market we have many companies competing with each other with the same product, food. It has gotten to the point were the selling point is not only dependant on the price anymore but it is also dependant on more factors that we want to highlight. These being: • How the food was produced. • Where the food was grown. • How the food is transported from the fields to your kitchen. Because of the growing threat of global warming we decided to focus on these three points, this is because we think and believe that these points can easily be brought under the consumers control. So how are we planning on doing this seemingly impossible task? It is easy, we are moving the field to your home. I know what you are thinking. I cant possibly have the space to grow all my food in my small apartment. And you are correct, that is why we are not planning on trying to make that happen. Instead we are going to make it possible for you to easily grow a small part of what you need daily at home easily. There is some people that might think that this is not relevant for them because they do not have any talent when it comes taking care of plants. But this is what our product wants to address, we want to make it possible for everyone no matter what their level of talent and knowledge is. hence that is our goal. So how are we going to make this possible. The solution for this is through connecting a small hydroponic farming system with the help of IoT and then automating the process of refilling the water and nutrition. This might seem like something that is way too advanced to set up for most people but the truth is that it can be easily done with just a few components. During the hackathon where we produces the demo for this we used the following hardware components: • 1 Raspberry Pi Zero W • 1 Arduino Uno 1 • 1 Water sensor The reason for us not using a pump which would be necessary to fully automate this is that we did not have access for one this hackathon so our minimal viable product (MVP) produced during this hackathon is using the water sensor and showing the data to the user so that the user will have an easy time to check if the water and nutrition needs to be refilled. 2 Identification of Risks 2.1 Lifetime of the sensors One of the main risks that we can foresee with this kind product at this stage of the development is that we can not guarantee the lifetime of the sensors that are going to be used to get the data. While our main product is going to be the software that is running on the hardware we still have the need to make sure that the sensors that are going to be used can uphold a certain standard. This will be done by making sure that we test a few different brands of sensors to see how long their lifetime is so that we can recommend at least one brand that give our users an estimate on the sensors lifetime. 2.2 Lack of technical knowledge The second risk that we can foresee with this is that some users might have a hard time setting up the systems at home on their own. To mitigate this as much as possible we will provide detailed schematics on how everything is supposed to be connected, as well as a guide on how to put all the software into different hardware components. We are however acknowledge that using both a raspberry pi zero w and an Arduino is not a good solution and that it increases the amount of knowledge that the users will need to set the system up. However for our MVP we have not done anything to mitigate that because of our time constraints and lack of hardware. But in the future development of this software system we will work towards the goal of a custom chip that can be used instead of the Arduino. Which then will be used as a medium between the raspberry and the other hardware components. This chips schematic would be available to everyone to make on their own but we are also planning on selling this chip for the sole reason of making it possible for people that are less knowledgeable when it comes to technology. The need for people to put the code on the raspberry will also be removed by providing a custom image that can be put on the raspberry that will automatically run all the code on start-up. This is because we do not want to limit our user base by the knowledge they have. 2 3 Business Model 3.1 User Segments he providing of value is focused towards private individuals or companies whom and want to help decreasing the impact that the human population have on the environment. The idea is that anyone, no matter what their background is can set this up and use it for whatever purpose, it should not matter if it is a 18 year old that wants to grow her own spices or a restaurant that wants to grow the spices that they use daily in the restaurant. 3.2 User Relationships In the concept stage of this system, it will be more focus on the users that have the technical knowledge needed to set the system up. This is because during the first stage we the users will need to install the software into the hardware on their own. This will only be during the initial parts of the development and during the later stages everyone will be able to easily use this system. 3.3 Channels The main idea that we have is that this system should be available for everyone. That is why all of the source code of the system will be available as open source software that anyone can use as long as they adhere to the licence of the software. The only thing that we will be selling is products that will make it easier for the users to set the system up. This will mainly be the chip that was mentioned in Section 2.2. We might also sell the needed hardware components if there is an interest for it. 3.4 Value Propositions The value that this system will provide to the users is that they will effortlessly, after the system is set up, be able to grow the spices and similar plants that they need at home without having the need to keep track of when the water level in the system. The only thing they would need to keep track of is that the water source has water that has nutrition mixed into it isn’t empty. The frequency that the users would need to refill this water source would be way less than what they would have to if they had to refill the water in the hydroponic system manually. 3.5 Key Activities The key activities for the idea to take off and retain users are as follows: • The development of the MVP • Marketing 3 • Establish small initial user-group to spread word 3.6 Key Resources One of the key resources that we will have will be the software system that are going to make sure that the automated system is actually running at all times. The other key resource that we will have is the chip that the people with less technological knowledge will use. 3.7 Key Partners We will not have any official partners for this, however, we are putting the source code on GitHub as open source so we will be dependant on the users of GitHub to contribute to the project so that we can continue and evolve the project to further increase the impact we can have on the environment. 3.8 Cost Structure Since this project will be worked on during our free time we will not have a cost outside of the actual time lost while working on it during the initial stages. During the later stages we will have to take the production cost of the chips into account but their cost will be gained back when we sell them. 3.9 Revenue Streams As touched upon in the previously our planned for of revenue will be from selling the chips. And in case the interest for it is high we will also get some revenue from selling the hardware components. 4

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