By: Ivan Atarah, Rupsha Bagchi and Yan He
We wanted to have a log of the weather in the greenhouse in our Exactum building, with PC logging and graphs. So we made a device which measures the real-time environment variable from multiple sensors in the greenhouse, from where the results can be easily checked and understood.
The arduino UNO board receives the information from the sensors and pushes them to a database on the cloud with the help of the adafruit CC3000 wifi shield. The data stream on the SparkFun database is then analysed and prepared as graphs using the Analog.io APIs.
This system can be used to monitor, for instance, how much sunlight a specific type of plant is getting. So basically we can use the information from the data to analyse whether the environment is conducive or detrimental to the growth of specific kinds of plants.
The source code of our project can be found here. And here is the link to our SparkFun database. Also, this is where you can see our desktop application with the graphical view of the data (on analog.io).
Arduino Uno and charger
Grove-Base Shield V1.3
Adafruit CC3000 WiFi Shield
Grove-Digital Light Sensor
DHT22 Temperature-Humidity Sensor
P.S. We haven’t shown Grove-Base Shield and Adafruit CC3000 WiFi Shield in the wiring diagram, due to some fritzing library issues.
- Adafruit CC3000 Breakout WiFi chip was faulty: We discovered it after repeatedly trying to connect to the network and failing. We had it replaced with adafruit CC3000 WiFi Shield.
- Connecting to firebase: We tried multiple ways to send data to firebase for many days, but kept getting stuck at some point. We switched to Thingspeak and eventually to Sparkfun due to its very easy-to-integrate api.
- We found a perfect Arduino case to 3D print on Thingiverse but could not resize the parts separately on Tinkercad, so we left a comment to the designer. The author was answered very quickly and the communication was a success, even though the model could not unfortunately be changed. So we switched to another 3D Lego mount for Arduino, here is the link.
We has originally planned to include other sensors namely carbon dioxide sensors to measure the changes in CO2 concentration around plants, toxic gas sensors and air pressure sensor to predict when it might rain. Along with that, we also wanted to be able to predict the greenhouse environment based on incremental history from our data, with the help of machine learning algorithms. We could not the due to the time constraints.
We think being able to see the data and control the system from out smartphone is also a good idea. So we currently working with the data we have to make a mobile application.
We had hardly any previous knowledge of hardware based projects. We took a while to pick up things from scratch, making our way through learning, debugging and testing the hardware issues. The hardest part of the project was probably writing the code to send a POST HTTP request to the database and figuring out how the various arduino libraries exactly worked. The greenhouse exactum course tutors were of great help to us, and the course gave us the motivation and the confidence to develop more arduino based projects.