Introduction: Automated Agriculture
How do we automate farming to make it convenient for large scale systems?
Overview of how it works
How this is device works is, a SparkFun Soil Humidity Sensor is connected to the Arduino Uno board, and then placed into the soil. Also connected to the Arduino board is a Peristaltic water pump. The tubing of pump is threaded through the front of the chassi and one end is placed into the water which is located behind the electrical components while the other end is placed in side of the soil of the prefered plant. The water pump has a switch connected to it that is placed on the outside of the chassi. The Arduino board is coded to read the Sensor values every 5 seconds if it reads a value over 500 and every second when it reads a value under 500. Any time the Soil Humidity Sensor reads the value of 499 or lower it sends that information back to the Arduino Uno and prints out a string saying to flip the switch that is connected to the pump.
Once the switch is flipped that allows power to flow through the pump which in turn pumps water through one end of the tubing and out the other end with just enough power to drip out of the tube and into the soil. The prefered spot to put the end of the tube would be at the roots given that this method of watering is called root dripping. It is one of the most if not the most efficient way to water plants and not waste energy. If the Soil sensor reads a value of more than 500 it will tell the user to turn the switch off, which in turn will stop the flow of water.
List of Tools needed:
- 3D printer (provided by instructor)
- Screwdriver philip and flathead (provided by instructor)
- Wire cutters/strippers (provided by instructor)
- Soldering Station (provided by instructor)
- Laser Printer (provided by instructor) Arduino Program (downloaded from official Arduino website) (Uses C coding)
- Alligator clips
List of Materials – with links to purchase them if bought (or a wishlist link)
- SparkFun Soil Humidity Sensor
- Peristaltic Water Pump
- Arduino Uno board
- 3D-Printed Chassis
- Electrical Cables (provided by instructor)
Step 1: How to Build the Finished Product
Step by step instructions with pictures and textual descriptions:
- Start by creating your 3D model rough draft. The design can be of any shape as long as the electrical components can fit in your 3D model.
- Make sure to create a dry compartment that houses electronics and a wet compartment that can house water. The water compartment should be waterproof and the water that it will hold should never be near the dry compartment.
- Once you receive your parts, start connecting them to your Arduino board.
- Connect the negative (black wire) to the ground GPIO pin inputs and the positive (red wire) on the Arduino.
- Plug in the analog (data cable) to the board. Print your 3D model (this will take some time) and shave off excess plastic with 240 grit sandpaper.
- Utilize the Arduino program (download it online through arduino’s website) and input the code provided by this link.
Run the code through Arduino Put all of your parts in your chassis.
- Place input tube in water reservoir and output tube into the soil near the plant’s roots.