Projekte sind ein essenzieller Bestandteil des Curriculums von Mobile Computing. Die Studierenden bekommen die Möglichkeit, das im Zuge ihres Studiums erworbene theoretische Wissen selbst praktisch umzusetzen. Ein sowohl für StudentInnen als auch für Lehrende immer wieder spannendes Unterrichtskonzept, in dem schon erfolgreiche Startups wie z.B. runtastic und Butleroy ihre Anfänge gefunden haben.
The Digital Garden
Automation takes place in almost any aspect of everyday modern life and therefore also our gardens. With this project the aim is to further integrate outdoor aspects like gardening and pool care into existing home automation systems. Also, a platform for contractors, providing relevant services, is created to further integrate into the system and intelligently provide professional support to the user if the context should require so.
Home automation is quite a widespread topic in general but one thing that is barely mentioned in this context is the garden with its possibilities for being automated. For this project the FarmBot Genesis – a 3D printer like robot that can take care of plants, from seeding all the way to harvesting – is used to be integrated into an installation of HomeAssistant. Further various Z-Wave sensors are put in place to showcase and demonstrate how those could be distributed to capture data like temperature, humidity or sunlight in a real garden.
The instance of HomeAssistant provides a central point for all values to tie together and perform the automation tasks. Since the communication between the FarmBot and its web interface happens via MQTT all topics that are published can also easily be used for display in HomeAssistant. This is used to display e.g. the position the FarmBot that it’s currently working at as well as errors, should some occur.
Another part is an Android app that also connects to HomeAssistant and shows the various components of the setup with their status and values captured by sensors. So, if errors should occur they are propagated to HomeAssistant which will relay them to the app, that is equipped with a recommender-like behavior to suggest the appropriate action according to the context. If there should, for example, be a problem with the pool, that is beyond the typical level in terms of difficulty or also work intensity, the app would intelligently contact a contractor with all the details, it was able to pick up from the system, and have them offer you a date and a time to fix the problem. The needed platform is also able to host and store contracts, work logs and, in general, allow for an easy to sign up and provide your service from a contractor’s standpoint.