|1||Smart Sprinkler Robot System
Area Award: Conservation
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.