FabWeather

Description

In collaboration with AgroControl, an IT business directed by a fablab's university ex alumni, we develloped a low cost weather station to help bring technology closer to farmers, who represent around the 20% of the population in Colombia. The company, named Agrocontrol, had developed an internet based plataform to observe and manage the diferent crops from the agronomic and administrative variables, but they needed a solution in order to register and link the weather variables to the plataform. They came to the fablab and learned about digital fabrication, and we started a project to develop a low cost weather station that can record 7 climate variables, temperature, luminosity, air speed and direction, preassure, humidity and rain quantity, and send this information via wifi or gsm to the plataform, where this information helps farmers determine if they need to water or not their crop, or what actions to take according to the real conditions of the climate in situ.

More documentation is on the way!!!

Images
Steps
Step 1

Reverse Engineering of Comercial Weather Stations

The first step for this project was the reverse engineering process to comercial weather stations and sensor.

Step 2

3d print of sensor parts

Sensor like the anemometor and wind direction and velocity, and pluviometer, were design and 3d printed, and then tested and compared to the results of comercial sensors.

Step 3

Electronics

An arduino and raspberry pi 2 where used to conect all the sensors and send the information via gsm and wifi to our server.

Step 4

Digital Fabrication of Outside Shell

For creating the outside shell, a 3d model of the case was created using Rhino. Afterwards, it was sent to 123d make to make a stacked layer model, laser cut, and assembled. Then, It was manually sanded using epoxy resin, and once the mould was ready, it was termoformed.

Step 5

Assembly

All diferent components where assembled and the whole station was tested.

Scope

The idea of this project is to democratize access to technology to small farmers in Colombia and the World. A company developed an online app where they manage the crop, but they needed informations about the climate in order to assign or make desicion regarding how to manage the crop. For example, if today is raining, they dont need to water the crop tomorrow, but if today we have a very hot day, it is necessary to water the crop a little bit more. The idea is that the farmer uses the app as an aid in decision taking for managing his crop, and the app and the weather station collect all the information and decide what activities need to be done in order to have a more productive crop. Additionally, the app has a stoplight alert in order for farmers to validate their crops on BPA, or good Agricultural Practices, a request for all farmers who intend to export their products. They came to the fablab searching for help in the construction of the weather station, and with the compromise of developing an opensource product in order to help all of Colombias Agriculture, we partnered and decided to make the weather station.

Discuss this Project on discuss.fablabs.io