During the summer, gardens abound — so many people are keeping an eye out for their sun-ripened, home-grown tomatoes or for that lovely hydrangea that’s just the right shade of blue. But summers are also a very hectic time. So how do you maintain that garden and make sure it receives the care it needs? One of the projects created for the Digilent Design Contest 2015 is a smart irrigation system intended to work with an Android device to see to it your garden gets the moisture it craves.
This project uses a chipKIT MX3 board to control the smart irrigation system. The board is in turn monitored by an Android device, though it can function independently. You will also need the PmodALS, the PmodTMP3, and the PmodWiFi, which serve as sensors and a way to communicate with the principal board. Other parts that are necessary include a servo kit, and H-bridge, a mini water pump, a rain sensor, three moisture sensors, a water tank, a silicone water pipe, a power sources, wires, and a greenhouse.
To begin, you’ll need to build the greenhouse/have a prepared greenhouse (a mini one is fine). After downloading MPIDE and getting your chipKIT MX3 set up, configure the Android app. Everything should be up and running at that point. The smart irrigation system functions by checking sensor values to see if they deviate from the preset ones. If so, airing or irrigating will begin or end.
I don’t know about you, but I’ll be spending this weekend setting up my very own smart irrigation system on my porch!