Dad has a garden in the middle of nowhere that needs to be capable of running on its own and reporting watering statistics. There is no mains power or water there so the system needs to be low power and water conservative.

What it does

It waters plants, but has a heart. Waterer is a system designed to be easy to configure, configured by using your smart phone. Waterer will keep track of water statistics and allow for dynamic configuration, e.g.:

water bay 1 if ground moisture levels are low and the time is between X and Y

How I built it

I used a Sparkfun Microview, which is an ATmega328P SoC with an OLED screen. A NodeJS server runs that communicates and pushes commands with the Microview in real time. The Microview activates a relay that opens a water solenoid, watering plants. The webpage that the user interacts with is also realtime, so that feedback of the system is instant.

Challenges I ran into

I originally wanted to use a Raspberry Pi however the NodeJS libraries are out of date on Raspbian and wouldn't work, even when compiling the latest version. I also came slightly unprepared on the first day, but that was easily rectified.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

The solenoid and relay system is a new experience for me. The use of websockets on the webpage is another thing I'm also proud of as it enables real time feedback to and from the Microview.

What I learned

  • Web sockets
  • Using Relays
  • Plan in advance

What's next for Waterer

The system currently is configured statically, that is the system only knows about 1 solenoid and 1 LED. I want to be able to have the system detect new peripherals automatically and configure the UI to show these changes.

After that I want to prototype a purpose built enclosure and deploy a working prototype to dads property.

Soon would include chasing start up support such as investment to finalise a prototype and distribution channels etc.

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