An Interconnected set of Solar Powered Watering Devices Designed to Control Flow Based on Sunlight and Rain Levels
Date: Jun - Aug 2016
Team Members: Ben Mazur & Trevor Stephens
User Experience/Service Design
Working professionals want access to freshly grown organic food, but they don't have enough time to care for a garden
After performing user interviews with 15 people ranging from professional farmers to people with house plants, we found that there is a subset of users who identifies as green and want to produce some of their own food, but cannot because of their schedule. This led us to design a watering device that could work remotely through an app. We focused on small gardens because the radius of accuracy for soil moisture sensors is still reasonably undeveloped
In the harsh environments that oftentimes face gardens, we had to develop a waterproof casing for the internet connected devices and control system, while also providing power via the solar panel.
Not only that, but it had to both connect to the soil sensors and hoses. We created some potential ideas for future versions of the product, as well as prototyped a more functional version
Our functional prototype was a capable of remaining powered for 3 days without sunlight, keep the electronics water proofed in a storm, and keep a garden properly watered during that time. In future iterations, we would like to add nutrient sensors to let people know when to add fertilizer and cameras to show their gardens growth.
We also prototyped a business plan, to figure out how much of the market we could reasonably target, developed ideal market prices compared to manufacturing costs, and what our edge over competitors would be. After I left the team, the other members launched the product on Kickstarter. To learn more about the product, check out our video there.