Arduino-Based Verdue Simulator

Controlled-environment botany through IoT

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Russ MalangenManufacturing Engineer, Specializes in Robotics and Mechatronics
Laukik Kakade
Abraham Odusina
Raees Zada
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Project Overview

Ever wondered what it’s like to run your own plantation? It’s always been something of interest to me to see how it would be to create my own controlled environment to be able to experiment around with. This project does just that. Basically it is a smaller-scale “Smart” green house that is able to house up to four plants in a condensed space. The project took approximately two and a half weeks to create. I hope to be able to come up with something on a larger scale once I fully grasp the concept.

Project Steps

Using a TFT, I am able to visualize the data that is being read by the modules. The fan’s running intervals can be set using the monitor as well. By receiving sensor data, the slave module sends them to an instance of SQL. Reliability is okay so far but I will replace it if I can find something better. The program has the ability to take in targets and optimize the internal environment to meet the criteria. Targets such as humidity, temperature and soil moisture are monitored, with a series of fans and alerts to control each variable.The LED drivers are there to drive a series of LEDs to initiate photosynthesis. The Arduino on the upper right hand side handles SQL communication, with the indicator light showing connection status. The external DHT temp/humidity sensor is below that.Driven well below the max, for example, you the lights are very intense. The heat sinks which act as a roof provide more than ample dissipation. Internal temperatures hardly ever float above outside temperatures.

Where I Need the Most Help

I’m a little concerned I haven’t really nailed the moisture part of the equation in my greenhouse. Reason being, I’m not noticing much variance in the soil moisture readout days after I water the plant. I’d expect moisture to rise to near 100% after watering, and slowly taper off to about 20-30%, signaling a new water cycle to begin. I need to be able to rely on this cycle if I’m going to integrate watering into the system. I premeditated parts of this issue and tried to code around it. I know that these sensors are cheap, but regardless of price, water and electrical current will cause oxidation. As oxidation rises on the sensor the readings vary widely. To combat this, I used common sense, only powering the sensor milliseconds before the readings were triggered, and powered them down immediately after.

Any suggestions would be of great help!

Why I’m Passionate About This Project

Environment is an advocacy of mine.

Supporting Material & Info

More details can be found here: https://www.element14.com/community/people/russm24/blog/2016/05/28/arduino-based-miniature-verdure-simulator

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