According to Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, Humans produces food for consumption every year, however almost one third gets lost or wasted. That is 1.3 billion tonnes of food wasted. 1 We also know that the Earth Overshoot Day is getting earlier every year, and this year, it is happening on July 29th. According to Earth Day, we are using Earth's resources 1.75 times faster than the Earth can generate. 2. If we can reduced our food getting wasted, we will not need to overproduce. All of this procedure started in our home, in our fridge.
What it does
To understand how our foods go perished, it is mandatory to know their weaknesses. They are sensible to temperature and humidity. Using sensors, we are monitoring humidity, temperature and whether the door is closed or not. One other way to stop foods go wasted is as simple as 1 + 1, it is to eat it. The best way is to list what we bought in the groceries and what we put in the fridge. We have a web app to create your list, but what can I cook with what I have ? You can select them as ingredients and our app can suggest recipes based on those ingredients.
How I built it
Our project is divided in 3 parts. The first part of the project is about hardware. It consist of multiple sensors and components :
- a humidity and temperature sensor DHT11 : to calculate the humidity and temperature of the inside of the fridge
- a ultrasound proximity sensor HCSR04 : to determine whether the door is closed or opened
- a passive buzzer : to make a sound when the door has been opened for a few seconds
- an LCD : to display the quick information about humidity, temperature and whether or not they are higher or lower than the ideal condition
- an LED : to alert the user when their attention is needed about humidity, temperature or the door All those sensors and components are controlled by an Arduino Uno installed in a box.
The second part of the project is in the continuum of the hardware. We have create an API in Flask (Django/Python) that will gathered the information from the sensors though a communication between the Arduino and the computer (cable communication).
The third and last part of the project is a web app, written in AngularJS. It manages a list of product in the fridge. We can create, delete, donate and also add the ingredient in a recipe list. We can then search recipes using Edamam's Recipes API. The app can also monitor our fridge using the API we create in the second part.
Challenges I ran into
We weren't sure what type of projects we were going to do during this Hackatown. We hesitated among many projects. We decided to do a mix of "Sustainable Development" project and "Hardware & IoT". Although we were certainly limited in hardware, we have managed to produce something that is complexed. As for "Sustainable Development", there were as many constraint as for "Hardware & IoT". Moreover, we were motivated to find a project that can mix both of those categories.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
We are proud of going out of the box. As we are used to software project, mixing hardware (Arduino) and software (Web) is challenging and a new experience. We are pleased and proud to have touched multiple technologies for our projects.
What I learned
We have learned hardware and how to manipulate it. We have also learned to mixed software and hardware.
What's next for SmartFridge
We have partially integrated the information we have gathered from the Arduino to our website. Through more sensors, we could improve the functionality of our apps. We could reduce the size of our circuit.