Posts Tagged ‘monitoring technology’

GardenBot Is Monitoring Your Garden

Sunday, November 28th, 2010

how-to_module-map courtesy of gardenbot.org

Amazing work, and very interesting solution (of an experience of nature-lovers and DIYers) to keep an eye on your garden:

GardenBot is a garden monitoring system. This means that you put sensors in your garden, and GardenBot will show you charts of the conditions in your garden — so you can see the world the way your plants see it.

I did… er, I mean hi. My name is Andrew Frueh. Me and my wife, Melissa, like to garden a lot. We’re always experimenting with different methods in our garden and compost. We already were using a soaker hose for our garden. Last year, we used one of those mechanical timers to turn the soaker on for a pre-determined amount of time. But then…
I discovered Arduino, and immediately became engrossed. Arduino is a little computer (called a microcontroller) about the size of a business card. It has a bunch of analog and digital inputs/outputs so you can hook up various sensors, buttons, switches, audio/video devices — it’s pretty friggin’ cool. See the parts page for more information.
Anyway, considering my interests, I thought “gee, it sure would be neat to use the Arduino board to control the watering in the garden”. But then one thing led to another… and now we get to the (somewhat complete) GardenBot system that you have before you.
Like a lot of DIY-ers, I am entirely self-trained. So, there are a lot of holes in my knowledge. As I hunted around for information on the web, I found that too often the information in various tutorials was written by someone who failed to remember that lay-people (incidentally the target audience for any tutorial) don’t know the jargon, and therefor can have great difficulty in decoding the information. One of my goals with this project, is to have all the pieces laid out in plain language — step by step — to walk you through the whole process. Hopefully I pull that off.

check out the web, as all the resources and methods are well documented. Good job!

courtesy: gardenbot.org

Talking Tire Monitor detects traction & Tire Pressure

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

tire-pressure-monitoring

Some cars have tire pressure monitoring systems for a while now, but this new system from Schrader Electronics takes that useful concept into the future.

It’s not quite explained whether this wireless Talking Tire Monitoring System actually talks to you, but one way or another it notifies you when your tire pressure is low. But it’s a whole lot smarter than that, showing you how much tread is left on those tires, and even sensing slippery road conditions in real time, notifying you how much traction your tires are getting.

In other aspect, it also could help motorists significantly reduce their carbon tyreprint as vehicles with properly inflated tyres boast an improved fuel efficiency. In addition, underinflated tyres wear out quicker and need replacing more frequently.

Courtesy Guardian via  Dvice

Flood Triggered Automated Camera System (FTACS)

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

flood-triggered-automated-camera-system_4.jpg

When the Department of Natural Resources of Australia decided that they needed to capture data about the natural flooding of a cave, they turned to a hacker to get results. The goal was to photograph the area during these floods with an automated system. In the end, they used a gutted Lumix digital camera mounted in a trash can, covered in aluminium foil. Though it sounds a bit silly, the final product turned out quite nice. You can see the build log, schematics, and results on the project page.

In this case the event they are trying to capture pictures of a cave flood with a Flood Triggered Automated Camera System. The system consists of a camera that is connected to a moisture sensor so that the a camera can start taking pictures when the sensor gets wet. Pictures will continue to be taken every 15 minutes until the moisture levels go back to normal. Since it is being installed in a remote location it needed to be self sustaining.

The water sensor is an interesting design since it has the ability of killing the power to the entire system when the conditions are dry. This is done by using a Darlington transistor feeding a relay.

Courtesy of Penguins Lab

School District Halts Webcam Surveillance

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

A suburban Philadelphia school district is deactivating a webcam, theft-tracking program secretly lodged on 2,300 student laptops following allegations the device was used by administrators to spy on a boy at home.

“I think given the concerns of parents and community members, I think we have a responsibility to at least take a pause and review the policy,” Lower Merion School District spokesman Doug Young said in a telephone interview Thursday evening.

The move came a day after the 6,900-pupil district, which provides students from its two high schools free Macbooks, was sued in federal court on allegations it was undertaking a dragnet surveillance program targeting its students — an allegation the district denied. Young said the computer-tracking program was activated a “handful” of times solely to track a missing laptop.

The suit was based on a student’s claim, acknowledged by the district, that the webcam was used by school officials to chronicle “improper behavior” based on a photo the computer secretly took of the boy at home. (.pdf) in November.

The assistant principal at Harriton High informed the student “that the school district was of the belief that minor plaintiff was engaged in improper behavior in his home, and cited as evidence a photograph from the webcam embedded in minor plaintiff’s personal laptop issued by the school district,” according to the lawsuit.

Young declined to directly say whether the program was activated in this instance to locate a missing laptop. He said the district only activates it when there is a reported missing laptop, and urged Threat Level to draw its own “inferences.”

“The only situation where the feature would have been activated is in the case of a stolen, missing or lost laptop,” Young said. “There’s never been any scenario used for any purpose other than that.”

Lawyers for the student did not return phone calls and e-mails for comment. The Associated Press reported late Friday the FBI was probing the allegations. (more…)

1-Wire HVAC monitoring system

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009

1-wire-hvac-control.jpg

The 1-Wire HVAC monitoring system is for residential Geothermal HVAC systems. This project utilizes the so called 1-wire temperature sensor. A single board computer handles the brunt of the work including web accessible trend data. With access to the underling temperatures, the over all system performance may be gauged. Earlier this year we covered a HVAC web enabled monitor that adds an element of control. As the industry adopts modern control architectures, we hope to see more HVAC hacks around.

read more: Hack a Day

Microsoft shows off datacenter monitoring system

Sunday, August 10th, 2008

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/5f/Microsoft_wordmark.svg/250px-Microsoft_wordmark.svg.png

In a move toward controlling datacenter energy consumption, Microsoft is deploying sensors that will trace work distribution to help plot for optimization

To better control energy consumption in its datacenters, Microsoft has deployed 2,000 internally built temperature and humidity sensors in several of its facilities.

The sensors use ZigBee wireless technology to transmit the data to databases that analyze the information. Data-center administrators can look at a graphical image of the datacenter that is color-coded based on temperature and at a glance see areas that are getting hot.

Ultimately, Microsoft would like to be able to distribute computational load in the datacenters based on the temperature of servers, and it is beginning to work on such a system, said Jie Liu, a Microsoft researcher working on the deployment. He showed off the devices and a view of the database at the annual Microsoft Research Faculty Summit in Redmond, Washington, on Tuesday.

Source: InfoWorld

Works on RFID system to analyze traffic

Sunday, June 22nd, 2008

trafficIPICO Inc. and McMaster RFID Applications Laboratory have been awarded a $1.2 million (Canadian dollars) grant to create an RFID system that would capture and analyze data related to traffic use and capacity, without a corresponding increase in investment in road infrastructure. The technology also could be used to help manage traffic, reducing road delays and transit time, and then reduce both emissions and dependency on fossil fuels.

The grant was from the International Science and Technology Partnerships Canada Inc. and the Global Innovation & Technology Alliance. McMaster and IPICO will work with the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi and Strategic Consultants, both of New Delhi, India.

The consortium had submitted a proposal to develop and create a platform for a specially designed passive commercial RFID transponder that would be capable of carrying significant, safe, secure and accurate information pertaining to the vehicle itself, including its identity. This information collected would be used to manage transportation flows on highways and roads.

Source: RFID News

AVR-Based House Monitoring System

Saturday, June 21st, 2008

The AVR-Based House Monitoring System is designed around the ATmega8515 microcontroller. The system offers hard-wired and wireless control along with a 1-Wire temperature network. A web-based, user-friendly interface enhances the project. [source]

AVR-Based House Monitoring System – [Download Project] [View Abstract]

Wireless Temperature Monitoring Systems for School Food Services

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

Green Edge Systems, Inc., a trusted leader of HACCP temperature monitoring and control solutions, performance monitoring and energy savings for school food services presents it DataNet state-of-the-art affordable hardware products, software and communication platforms in the TEXAS ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL Nutrition (TASN) conference and exhibition , June 10-11, 2008 Corpus Christi, Texas

The DataNet Wireless Intelligent HACCP temperature monitoring system is the most advanced reliable and affordable Zigbee wireless sensor system. Read more…