Project

# Title Team Members TA Documents Sponsor
42 Automated Grain Quality Test Kit for Farmers in Developing Countries
Adam Long
Joan Brown
Kevin Villanueva
Luke Wendt design_document0.pdf
design_document0.pdf
design_document0.pdf
final_paper0.pdf
presentation0.pptx
proposal0.pdf
This project was pitched by the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology and the Institute for the Prevention of Postharvest Loss in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)


Problem: Small farmers in developing countries lack the ability to analyze the quality of their product. With the proper resources, they would be able to analytically show the quality their product and sell it at higher margins.



Solution: A low cost, portable Grain Measurement Quality (GMQ) Kit that would be able to automatically collect and wirelessly transmit testing data on corn quality via GSM to a Farmer Portal.

The kit will include measurements of: and method/sensor

Corn Temperature: thermistor

Corn Humidity: relative humidity sensor

Corn Color: RGB color sensor

Impurity of Sample: a two-level sieve to separate unwanted large non-kernel material such as husk remnants and stones and unwanted small material such as broken kernels.



The kit shall be portable and handle a sample size of appx. 100 kernels. Samples should be taken from each sack of corn with the data applied to each of their respective sacks. The kit will be powered by rechargeable batteries. The system will also include documentation for conducting the tests that are easy to follow for farmers in developing countries.



The kit is will be in the form of a briefcase. It will have an attached tablet, or low-cost alternative, to display and record the test data. There will be two distinct sections of the kit; the first will be used for temperature, humidity, and impurity measurements. The sample of appx. 100 kernels will be dumped into this section where they will pass layered sieves. A scale will be at the bottom of the leveled sieves, and the data will be recorded by the tablet via a wired connection. The sieves will then be removed by the user and new data points will be recorded to show the impurity of the sample. A thermistor and humidity sensor in the center of the remaining kernels will allow us to acquire the temperature and humidity of the corn. The second section will be adjacent to the first and focus on corn color. An RGB color sensor connected to the tablet will be used to acquire the color of an individual kernel placed on the covered sensor. All the data recorded will be compared to quality standards and the results given back to the user through the tablet.



Challenges:

Ensuring a low-cost solution

Ensuring a long battery life, as users will likely have limited access to electricity

Appropriate accuracy of measurements

S.I.P. (Smart Irrigation Project)

Jackson Lenz, James McMahon

S.I.P. (Smart Irrigation Project)

Featured Project

Jackson Lenz

James McMahon

Our project is to be a reliable, robust, and intelligent irrigation controller for use in areas where reliable weather prediction, water supply, and power supply are not found.

Upon completion of the project, our device will be able to determine the moisture level of the soil, the water level in a water tank, and the temperature, humidity, insolation, and barometric pressure of the environment. It will perform some processing on the observed environmental factors to determine if rain can be expected soon, Comparing this knowledge to the dampness of the soil and the amount of water in reserves will either trigger a command to begin irrigation or maintain a command to not irrigate the fields. This device will allow farmers to make much more efficient use of precious water and also avoid dehydrating crops to death.

In developing nations, power is also of concern because it is not as readily available as power here in the United States. For that reason, our device will incorporate several amp-hours of energy storage in the form of rechargeable, maintenance-free, lead acid batteries. These batteries will charge while power is available from the grid and discharge when power is no longer available. This will allow for uninterrupted control of irrigation. When power is available from the grid, our device will be powered by the grid. At other times, the batteries will supply the required power.

The project is titled S.I.P. because it will reduce water wasted and will be very power efficient (by extremely conservative estimates, able to run for 70 hours without input from the grid), thus sipping on both power and water.

We welcome all questions and comments regarding our project in its current form.

Thank you all very much for you time and consideration!