Industrial-Grade Optical Rain Gauge Beams Infrared Light to Measure Rainfall

Optical rain gauge

I remember when I was a kid, we had rain gauge to measure the amount of rainfall in the garden, so after heavy rains, I liked to have a look to find out how much rain actually fell. Those collected water in a tube, and we could read the millimeter value right on the tube. But now with the Internet of Things, we can have smarter solutions including tipping-bucket rain gauges that collect water and usually report the data via an RS-232 port. But I’ve just found out there’s another method to measure rainfall with an industrial-grade optical rain gauge I just found on Seeed Studio for $99.00. It’s a sphere about the size of half a tennis ball that beams infrared light instead of collecting water and somehow managed to accurately report the amount of rainfall. RG-15 optional rain gauge specifications: Nominal Accuracy – ±10% Host Interfaces J1 Terminal […]

Skytraq PX1122R Tiny Multi-Band RTK GNSS Module Offers Centimeter Accuracy

Skytraq PX1122R Multi-Band RTK GNSS Module

Several years ago Skytraq introduced NavSpark mini, a tiny (17x17mm) GPS module, that sold for $6. I got one and wrote a post explaining how to get started with the GPS module using GNSS viewer program. The company contacted me again today, as they’ve now launched an even smaller module Skytraq PX1122R measuring just 16x12mm, supporting GPS, Galileo, GLONASS, and Beidou signals, as well as Real-time Kinematic (RTK) relative positioning technique that allows for 1-3cm positioning accuracy. Skytraq PX1122R RTK GNSS module key features & specifications: Chipset – SkyTraq PX100 Phoenix GNSS chipset Supported GNSS standards & bands – GPS L1/L2C, Galileo E1/E5b, Beidou  B1I/B2I, GLONASS L1/L2, QZSS L1/L2C Integrated RTK with 1cm + 1ppm RTK accuracy in seconds (under 10 seconds) Up to 10Hz quad-GNSS RTK update rate Base or rover mode configurable Serial Interface – 3V LVTTL level 24x castellated holes with UART, RF input, 1PPS, Reset, 3.3V, […]

DIY Farm & Garden Automation with Arduino and APDuino Project

APDuino_System_Overview

You would like to start to grow your own vegetables but you don’t really have enough place and/or time to take care of your garden. No problem! Just go vertical and automate your garden with an Arduino Mega, an Ethernet shield, and lots sensors and valves. That’s basically what Rik Kretzinger, who grew up on a Christmas tree farm, and has a major in horticulture, has done at his home. This whole system use a farming technique called aquaponics, mixing aquaculture (raising fish in tanks) and hydroponics (cultivating plants in water), and except planting and harvest, is mostly automatized. The hard part is to set it up. The firmware is based on APduino “Internet-of-growing” open source project that runs on Arduino Mega to gather data from sensors (humidity, temperature, pH, light…) and control the valve. Rik’s system also upload data automatically to Xively cloud so that he can monitor his […]

The Internet of Insects Is Coming to You Powered by Fuel Cells

Connected_Coackroach

We’ve had the Internet for a few decades, and recently terms such as the Internet of Things, previously as (connected) embedded systems, and the Internet of Everything have started to become a common features of tech speak. But following research from Osaka University and the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology (TUAT), we may soon start to talk about the Internet of Insects. Japanese researchers have developed a fuel cell that can be mounted on an insect, and generate powered from sugar (trehalose) found in the insect’s body fluid (blood lymph). The fuel cell consists of electrodes, a tank of body fluid and a pipe to be inserted into the insect. Then some chemical “magic” occurs. There’s already a prototype, which has been unveiled at IEEE MEMS 2014, an academic conference that tool place on January 26-30, 2014, in San Francisco. The prototype has been 3D printed, measures about approximately 20 […]