Aquaponics and hydroponics sensor platforms for Makers

Cooking Hacks, the open hardware division of Libelium, has launched two new sensor platforms that automate control and maintenance tasks in aquariums and in gardens through wireless connectivity and using open-source APIs. Designed for Makers, the new IoT solutions are based on Arduino, and include specialized sensors to measure parameters vital to aquatic life in ponds and fish tanks, or for indoor and outdoor gardening.

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Powered by an ATtiny84 microcontroller (MCU), the Arduino Uno-compatible Open Garden platform consists of three separate kits equipped with sensors to maintain healthy growth, despite whether plants are located indoors, outside or in water. A suite of sensors, ranging from humidity and temperature to light and soil moisture, monitor plants for optimal care wherever they are situated. The platform’s actuators can control irrigation, as well as activate lights and oxygen pumps. A hydroponics kit is also available, which includes both pH and conductivity probes.

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Open Aquarium has been designed to help Makers care for their fish by automating the control and maintenance tasks that are typically required in tanks and ponds. This newly-unveiled platform monitors water factors such as temperature, pH and conductivity. In addition, the fully Arduino-compatible system has the ability to measure water levels and leakage, as well as deploy actuators that can feed the fish, regulate water heating / cooling, activate pumps to change water or administer medicine, and control light intensity to simulate day and night cycles. The sensors send information using wireless interfaces such as Wi-Fi, GPRS and 3G.

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Each product comes with a complete open source API to easily control the board through an ATmega328 based Arduino, as well as a web application that allows users to easily access and visualize relevant information from a browser or iPhone/Android device.

“We design connected technology using open source code to help makers discover, improve, and scale new sensor-based solutions for the Internet of Things,” explained David Gascón, CTO at Libelium.

Interested in learning more? You can check out the official Open Garden page here. Readers may also want to browse through some of our previous articles on open source agriculture, including “Vertical Farming with Arduino,” “The Internet of Things, Stalk by Stalk,” “Smart Urban Aquaponics in West Oakland,” “DIY Farming with Atmel and Arduino,” “Open Source Aquaponics with APDuino,” “Agricultural Monitoring with Atmel AVR
,” “Arduino-Based Farming in Maine” and “Building a DIY Moisture Monitor.”

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