Cole grew up with a grandmother that had a passion for gardening. Although he greatly enjoyed learning how to garden, he found that he had less and less time to maintain his plants as schoolwork and other commitments began piling up. Faced with this predicament, he began thinking about ways to introduce automation to how we garden. Through SPORE, we hope to make gardening accessible, convenient and less time hassle-free for the average person.
What it does
SPORE is an integrated smart gardening system that tracks the well-being of plants through temperature, moisture, and light sensors. A built in LCD light panel and a sprinkler attachment allows the plant to be provided with light and water on either a manual or an automatic basis. All of the information and functions can be accessed via our mobile app, where users can remotely monitor and provide for their plant(s).
How we built it
We built it with an Arduino Uno and a Grove base shield. We used an LCD RGB backlight, Grove light sensor, a ds18b20 temperature sensor, a Kuman soil moisture sensor, a servo motor to emulate a water valve, and an HC05 bluetooth module. The Arduino was coded using Arduino's IDE and the app was created in Android studio.
Challenges we ran into
Our biggest challenge that is still unsolved is try to send data through the bluetooth. After 6 hours and getting help from 3 different mentors, we still were unable to figure out the problem. As a result, this set back the app development extremely far back, so we were unable to flesh out the app at all.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
A hardware hack is always somewhat more complicated to pull off at a hackathon than something based entirely in software, but we felt like we were able to create a viable proof of concept that involved a complete sensor system connected to the mobile application for users, despite the challenges we faced.
What we learned
Hardware can be pretty buggy at times, and often requires much trial-and-error to isolate the problem in a complex system. In addition, as a relatively inexperienced team, we were also exposed to new languages and components throughout our hack, and we are glad that we were able to learn how to work with them and improve our personal coding repertoire.
What's next for SPORE
We believe that SPORE has much potential in the field of vertical agriculture; the future of farming is in large-scale, land efficient indoor vertical farms, and with a system like SPORE, we can scale up and monitor the growth and health of dozens or even hundreds of plants, greatly increasing the efficiency and reducing the labour needs of vertical farming