Reuben really like gardening, but he forgets to water his plants a lot and they end up dying. This idea originally started as a way to help people without a green thumb successfully grow plants. However, we realized that it would also work as a great way to notify you about other things like checking air quality and alerting you that your house is not filtering air properly/you need to change the filter (the fires were definitely an inspiration for this part), waking you up 15 minutes before your alarm should go off if your windshield is frosted so you have time and you're not late to school/work, automatically turn off your lights if no one is in the room, or reminding you to grab a jacket/umbrella before you step outside because it's cold/raining outside. The goal is also to help less technical people easily gather data about their home, customize the product to their needs, and smartly utilize it to reduce their carbon footprint!
What it does
SmartRoots improves your life. It is a group of sensors that you place around your home to gather data about things, forwards that data to a web server and, if it exceeds a certain threshold, sends an alert to your phone. There's also a dashboard you can view from the web. For example, if you put the sensors in a pot, it will check/measure the humidity, gather water/pH levels, sunlight, UV levels and warn you when that plant needs extra attention (and what specifically it needs). If you have a pet, you can stick the water sensor in the bowl and it will alert you when you need to add water.
How we built it
Lots of googling :) If you're asking about actual software/hardware though, sensors, raspberry pis, arduinos, twilio (for alerts), python, and google.
Challenges we ran into
None of us really knew anything about hardware
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We learned a lot about programming hardware and how sensors work (special thanks to Keysight for their informative overview of sensors/hardware)
What we learned
How to use sensors and Arduinos to build something cool :)
What's next for SmartRoots
3D printing a cool looking plant pot to camouflage the sensors used to monitor the plant's health, using google's image recognition to automatically recognize the species of the plant and customize the notifications/threshold levels, building a machine learning algorithm to recognize plant diseases and then send you a list of steps for how to treat it, integrate it with Alexa/Amazon Echoes and Google Homes, and so much more!