Friday, April 10, 2015

Week 2 (Outside Lab) - Refining Design Concept (pt. 2)

Figure 1. Snippet of collaborative research organization.

Two important changes to the project were made in this meeting after more research as a group. They are listed as follows:

  1. The goal is no longer to have a cross-platform control application that connects wirelessly to the PlantParent. This turned out to require another expensive piece of hardware and an incredibly steep learning curve in several areas that is beyond the 10-week scope of this project. Instead, the final prototype of PlantParent will be controlled with a computer-only GUI (still created with Qt), which will remain connected directly to the Arduino.
  2. Rather than switching from 5V to 12V, the intended design is now to relay 5V DC to 120V AC. This change was made because most water pumps with the power and mechanical adaptability that we need require 110-120V AC to work (those powered by 12V DC tend to be very small and struggle to pump water twenty inches through one output, much less supply three separate outputs at distances up to three feet). 

The team hopes to make a trip out to purchase these parts of the hardware very soon, so that we can really get started on prototyping.

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