The aim of the project is to install an aquaponics system under a greenhouse in our university building in the academic year 2017-2018, which will operate in partial autonomy. The team will also aim to design and build an automatic food distribution system for the fish that will live and grow in our greenhouse, which will allow team members to be absent for a period of time without worrying about feeding the fish.
The main challenge is to find the right balance between the fish population, the food supply, the bacterial population, and the vegetation growth: an anomaly in one of these parameters can harm the ecosystem. This project will be part of the "Open IOT Challenge 4.0". The results of the project will be available on 30th March 2018, and we will continue to give you news about it.
Team members are from two different departments at Polytech Grenoble. The first department is Materials:
- Antoine Ronco and Dorian Reboullet, 3rd year students
- Apolline Limousin and Eglantine Lejeune, 4th year students
The second department is Computing and Electronics of Embedded Systems:
- Bastien Bonte and Faustine Michel, 3rd year students
- Erik Nayan and Paulo Naves, 4th year students
The food distribution system
In order to feed all the fish without any human intervention over a prolonged period of time, a food distributor is used, which is responsible for delivering a daily dose of food to the fish. This dispenser must be able to store enough food to feed the fish for at least a week.
Several approaches have started to emerge for the shape of this dispenser: a classic circular dispenser with pre-sized food portions, or a model inspired by traditional cereal dispensers where the grains are distributed by a rotating device whose rotation would be automated in this case. We have opted for the second model because it is easier to access and has the advantage of allowing the amount of food available to be controlled, unlike the circular dispenser which is submerged.
This system is needed in order to measure pH and water temperature, but also greenhouse and soil temperature, greenhouse humidity and the water level. So an STM32 microcontroller, the Linux system and a LoRa expansion card could be used .The sensors and the STM32 cards are protected by boxes that we will design with the help of the FabLab at the UGA .
A plexiglass tank has been chosen (transparent material allowing food levels to be monitored), and all the printed parts such as the rotating device and the protection boxes will be in ABS because it is more resistant to water than PLA. We plan to try to design the 3D printing models ourselves, but also to use some 3D model library print models available on the internet.
We have programmed the water level sensor and carried out some tests to verify that it functions correctly. Regarding the LoRa module, we studied the code produced by the RICM the previous year and we have modified it to adapt it to the needs of our project.
This project is about controlling a small system to create an equilibrium between fish and plants, so that they can live together in the greenhouse. In the project, participants will learn how to control the greenhouse environment using sensors, and will design the fish feeding system themselves.