Thursday, April 2, 2015

Week 1 (In Lab) - Further Brainstorming and Research

Having chosen a plant watering system as the intended product design, the team conducted research on existing systems and began the process of creating an original design. 
The important aspects of the intended design are as follows:
  1. Rather than using a simple timer system, this plant watering system will utilize an Arduino board (a programmable microcontroller) as its control.
  2. The product will be aesthetically pleasing, since it is for consumer use. No circuit boards or motors should be visible in the final product. 
  3. The system will be able to support up to 3 plants. 
The basic intended structure of the system is laid out in Figure 1. The Arduino control system communicates with the pump, which responds to the Arduino commands and pumps water from the reservoir through plastic tubing into the plant's soil. 

Figure 1. Basic structure of plant watering system.
A preliminary budget of $60 was decided upon in this time-frame, and the team also began to consider their design constraints, as well as steps that need to be taken in order to fill in some gaps in the members' technical knowledge. These will be elaborated on in more detail once a formal design proposal has been finalized. 

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