GOAT logo

Join the conversation! The forum activity is now at GOATeach.org!  We are working to cross pollinate our conversations. Document and share tools at farm hack and talk at GOAT!  Also join GOAT riot and introduce yourself and your projects!

ARDUINO/ Garden Bot Project Group: Smart Farm Notes

Greetings all,

so good to spend some time digging in. Here are some notes from the Arduino Group dialogue.
Present in Group: Luis (GardenBot project), RJ (SensorHub 2.0), Lindsey (NYFC Boss), Ben (Hearty Roots Farmer), Tim (veggie farm NBNJ), Danielle (W. Africa foor processing), Olivia (Indust Des RISD), Aaron
The Problem: Changes in the greenhouse growing environment can happen quickly and threaten valuable crops.
The Opportunity: Rapidly evolving, readily available and affordable hardware and software tools with no prior application in the greenhouse.
The Solution: To create an affordable, accessible and easy to use hardware/ software package for farmers to buy or build that detects, integrates, regulates and automates the greenhouse environment.
From Sev's Tags: Arduino project Smart Farms GardenBot computers from the 80's/ iPhone accesible control unit hen houses datalogging opensource hardware
Potential Applications:
Automate Refrigeration controls
automate irrigation
automate heat and temperature through mechanical fans, louvres and roll-up sides.
monitor microclimactic conditions
monitor temp of soil and air, relative humidity of air and soil, light
monitor dissolved O2 in irrigation
monitor energy inputs (power metering)
offer raw data logging
monitor water quality (turbidity) in wash station
create text alerts for wildlife intrusion, overheating or cooling
Implementing and Integrating Stuff:
Hardware: fabricate circuit board
Software: Import Libraries, hack the arduino and sync coordinator chip with sensors
Webside: Create a gateway to Internet, a "coordinator" of sorts with an interface on the computer.

Quality Assurance: Tool must be failsafe. How do we design it to alert when and if power goes out, how is it a redundant system? Most farmers would prefer the now-and-again false alert than lose their crops to a failed alert.
How can applications be adapted to Landline, cellphone, and internet formats? How might this relate to systems being used to gather data from shipping containers using rfid chips?
Documentation vs. Implementation: we might consider focusing on either outcome or process, doing both might stretch scarce resources.
Phase 1: SARE Grant Opportunity: Must speak in plain, clear language with grounded realistic goals. Funding would support Ben (and his supporting participant farmers) to conduct experiments with prototypes, would pay RJ and Luis for a small portion of their development time, maybe they could retain some creative commons licensing rights or other licensing rights? Must also focus on outreach plan and how to communicate results broadly (within this forum but also out in the world, direct outreach to farmers)

So, to speak in maybe not-so-clear terms in our back-office here, some notes from RJ and Luis' dialogue: How to digest and choose your messaging as there may be character limits. Using the mesh network would give opportunity to increase character limit. Reference IBM's push to standardize platforms through MQQT in the spirit of our open-source goals. We need to write in a manner that employs/ deploys info and mechanics correctly Take data, turn it into fetchers (grab data that's relevant), parsers (divides it into usable bits), and processors (puts it into buckets to be displayed on our interface) Need to determine if there is a saftware library, or set of functions used in the Arduino platform fr sending data from the Arduino "coordinator" to the "Inbox" infterface for data collection and delivery.