Arduino is being used along with IBM Cloud and IBM Watson to power the foris.io sensor platform to collect various soil data to understand its health and moisture levels, helping farmers, gardeners and homeowners understand how best to care for their crops, gardens and lawns.
“IoT developers commonly use our products in the prototype phase, but we are also excited about how they are finding it cost effective and valuable to build end products using Arduino directly,” said Federico Musto, Arduino CEO. “This soil management sensor system is a perfect example of how a brilliant idea can quickly turn into an experiment, and then productized to help solve big problems with modest investments of time and money. These IoT entrepreneurs can tap into services offered by other organizations to complete an end-to-end solution. Arduino is lucky to have a community of passionate developers who want to implement their ideas, and we’ll continue to provide the technology to enable it.”
foris.io developed sensors that are placed in soil to collect data. This data is then intelligently processed in the cloud using Bluemix, IBM’s cloud platform, as well as machine learning and AI capabilities from IBM Watson. As soil characteristics and plant health are analyzed and correlated over time, the system will be able to learn and provide customized recommendations for optimal growth. These insights will continuously recalibrate and improve as the system matures, tapping Watson’s cognitive capabilities and machine learning.
The probes are wired directly to the Arduino Due, and the Due sends data through a long-range low-power wireless communications link that can travel several kilometers outdoors. The collected data are then processed and used to understand how much to water and fertilize, and when, and provides long-term visibility into the health of the soil, pH balance, fertilizer strength, and more. In addition, the data will be masked and aggregated into generalized analytics, which will help farmers make better global and comparative decisions.
“The soil is the earth’s skin and it’s only six inches deep,” said Vicki Vegis, Founder and President of foris.io. “Our platform offers a sustainable method taking advantage of highly innovative technologies to understand how we can utilize our resources to optimally care for the environment.”
Arduino is a popular platform for IoT product development. All around the world, hundreds of thousands of designers, engineers, students, developers, and Makers are building with Arduino for music, games, toys, smart homes, farming, autonomous vehicles, and more. This new “connected” paradigm where digital meets physical enables anyone to create applications that are literally changing our world. The development playground started to change when software became more easily accessible, but now, hardware is taking that same path. Entrepreneurs and passionate developers can build anything they dream.