As temperatures continue to rise, crucial arable land is being lost. Drought poses an increasing threat to agriculture and irrigation becomes a dangerous issue in more and more regions of the world. All this ultimately puts a huge pressure on world’s food resources, and consequently threatens the well-being of the increasing population.
The UN called for immediate action and for the past decade has been heavily funding research on food security and desertification. This call stimulated various groups and independent companies to develop projects, or invent high-tech gadgets, which lead to new type of agriculture, a smart one, which ensures production of food regardless of the weather.
I have covered quite a number of such brave initiatives, including CoolFarm, The indoor farming facility by Philips, Toshiba’s pest free lettuce growing facility, among others. But along side these massive projects, smaller ventures opted for technologies that can help individuals, and stimulate them to save water in their own back yard- not only reducing personal bills, but contributing to the global cause too. Yes, there are things you can do without the gadgets, but smart devices are also around to help you optimize your gardening approach.
One such device, or more like a smart irrigation system, is Blue Marble. It comprises of a central control hub, a remote drip system, sprinkler valves, and soil sensors. The control hub is wirelessly connected to a smartphone app, and controls the whole system. It allows adjustments to the settings according to current weather information and the data from the garden sensors. The app also allows manual operation.
The sprinkler valves and the drip system, which should be installed around the garden, and are managed by the hub, deliver just enough water either according to what the soil sensor say, or according to a timer.
The key feature, which makes this whole system different from all other smart irrigation devices, however, is the fact that it is powered by solar panels. What is more, it is completely battery free, but according to the makers, it can work for 48 hours continuously without sunshine and even at night. This is apparently achieved through the use of low power circuits, that control the tasks of the remote units.
The system is currently gathering supporters on Kickstarter. If you are interested, go visit their campaign page. They are doing great, but they still need more backers.
Image (c) Blue Marble