Project

# Title Team Members TA Documents Sponsor
1 Smart Sprinkler Robot System
Area Award: Conservation
Denis Kurtovic
Jose Orozco
Kevin Johnson
appendix0.pdf
design_document0.pdf
final_paper0.pdf
presentation0.presentation
proposal0.pdf

Our project goal was to make a robotic sprinkler system that can detect soil moisture content and check online weather forecasts to determine whether the ground needs to be watered. After completing our product, we were able to meet all of our requirements.



The two main parts of this design are the sprinkler robot and the base station. The base station checks the weather forecast to determine if the chance of precipitation is low enough to warrant watering for the day. If the chance of rain is high enough, then the robot will not be deployed; otherwise, it will send the robot out to measure the soil moisture at specific points on the lawn. The sprinkler robot measures the soil moisture by deploying a two-point-probe into the ground to measure resistance. This data is then sent wirelessly to the base station where it determines whether or not to water that area. If it is determined the area needs watering, then the robot will turn on its sprinkler system and water the area until the base station tells it to stop. After that, the robot moves on to the next area that the base station tells it to go to. When the robot is finished, it returns to the base station.



This product is commercially viable because it is a smart watering system that does not require the installation of multiple expensive pipes and probes. It both reduces the water waste of a traditional sprinkler system while still allowing for it to be transported to a new location.



This project was sponsored by MIT Lincoln Laboratory.

Cloud-controlled quadcopter

Anuraag Vankayala, Amrutha Vasili

Cloud-controlled quadcopter

Featured Project

Idea:

To build a GPS-assisted, cloud-controlled quadcopter, for consumer-friendly aerial photography.

Design/Build:

We will be building a quad from the frame up. The four motors will each have electronic speed controllers,to balance and handle control inputs received from an 8-bit microcontroller(AP),required for its flight. The firmware will be tweaked slightly to allow flight modes that our project specifically requires. A companion computer such as the Erle Brain will be connected to the AP and to the cloud(EC2). We will build a codebase for the flight controller to navigate the quad. This would involve sending messages as per the MAVLink spec for sUAS between the companion computer and the AP to poll sensor data , voltage information , etc. The companion computer will also talk to the cloud via a UDP port to receive requests and process them via our code. Users make requests for media capture via a phone app that talks to the cloud via an internet connection.

Why is it worth doing:

There is currently no consumer-friendly solution that provides or lets anyone capture aerial photographs of them/their family/a nearby event via a simple tap on a phone. In fact, present day off-the-shelf alternatives offer relatively expensive solutions that require owning and carrying bulky equipment such as the quads/remotes. Our idea allows for safe and responsible use of drones as our proposed solution is autonomous, has several safety features, is context aware(terrain information , no fly zones , NOTAMs , etc.) and integrates with the federal airspace seamlessly.

End Product:

Quads that are ready for the connected world and are capable to fly autonomously, from the user standpoint, and can perform maneuvers safely with a very simplistic UI for the common user. Specifically, quads which are deployed on user's demand, without the hassle of ownership.

Similar products and comparison:

Current solutions include RTF (ready to fly) quads such as the DJI Phantom and the Kickstarter project, Lily,that are heavily user-dependent or user-centric.The Phantom requires you to carry a bulky remote with multiple antennas. Moreover,the flight radius could be reduced by interference from nearby conditions.Lily requires the user to carry a tracking device on them. You can not have Lily shoot a subject that is not you. Lily can have a maximum altitude of 15 m above you and that is below the tree line,prone to crashes.

Our solution differs in several ways.Our solution intends to be location and/or event-centric. We propose that the users need not own quads and user can capture a moment with a phone.As long as any of the users are in the service area and the weather conditions are permissible, safety and knowledge of controlling the quad are all abstracted. The only question left to the user is what should be in the picture at a given time.

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