We wanted to do something in terms sustainability and reduce the amount of water that is being wasted. According to NASA, almost half of the US is experiencing some level of drought and it is expected to worsen in the next couple of months.

In terms of outdoor water usage, a significant portion of it goes towards irrigating plants. In fact, according to the US EPA, around 50% of the water we use outdoors is wasted from inefficient watering methods and systems. By taking steps and efficiently watering our plants, we are able to reduce the amount of water being wasted which could then help relieve some of the drought conditions that are only expected to get worse.

From there, we asked how can we water our plants efficiently? The first thing that came to mind was to not overwater the plants. Often times we overestimate the amount of water that a plant needs when in reality they only need a fraction of it. This means that the water is just spreading deeper into the soil or is slowly killing the plants.

What it does

Our device aims to demystify the amount of water that we use while also enlightening the user with how much water the plant realistically needs. The hardware components take readings through sensors about the plants environments. This information is then sent to the users mobile application to give a detailed read.

Information that the sensors gets:

  • Sunlight Intake
  • PH levels of soil
  • Moisture Levels
  • Temperature Sensor
  • Low Power Mode
  • Battery and Solar powered

How we built it

Beverly and Jessica built the hardware component that monitors the soil and environment conditions of the particular plant. Sonica built the application that communicates with the Treflo API to get ideal conditions of the plants and the sensors to alert the user when the plant is being neglected. We were able to expand the scope of the project so that more information about the environment could be retrieved such as ph and temperature.

Challenges we ran into

Debugging Hardware
Conversion between Altium and KiCAD files
Modeling out CAD through solidworks
Debugging Software
Not having access to an API
Image recognition
Android studio glitches
Picking a bug to model our design after

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We were able to collaborate and bounce ideas of each other in a days span, while also getting a functional prototype to show off.

What we learned

We learned about communicating between one another to see how hardware and software could work together.

What's next for The Green Ladybug

It would be cool to take our hardware designs and implement it physical. From there we could then utilize the mobile app to take the readings from the plants. Then we could do some trial runs to see how efficiency or performance could be improved.

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