Garden Grid 2016

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Similar to home automation, but on a physically larger level, the goal of this project is creating an integrated system of wireless sensor and actuator nodes that automate the watering, lighting, heating, ventilation, etc.. of greenhouses.
The automation of greenhouses already exists, though this uses wired connections, and a limited number of sensor nodes. A malfunction or a broken cable can be an expensive problem.

The initial prototype uses an ESP-8266 wifi-enabled microcontroller, and a few sensors.
A DHT22 sensor is used to check the humidity level and temperature of the air,
A custom 555 timer circuit is used to check the soil moisture level with an AC coupled sensor.
The prototype is also fitted with a mosfet to control an output function. (In this case a small pump to water plants)

To test the prototype, it will be used to water some plants in a small balcony greenhouse.

Once this is done, the plan is to add:
– MQTT
– A graphical interface for the user
– Mesh networking
– A lower frequency radio protocol to improve range.
– A batch of production-level ‘foolproof’ prototypes.
– Compatibility with (24V) PLC systems.

[2019] An additional challenge for the system is detecting errors, either with the sensor system, or actual detectable malfunctions. The plan is to use machine learning to do this detection.