We use two types of boxes. Each rice field has a a little box with sensors, which we call a node. Nodes measure data about the rice field, which it sends to another box, the edge. The edge is connected to the Internet, and forwards rice field data from the sensor nodes to our server in the cloud. This is called a star topology network.
So how is it all connected? Sensor nodes talk to the edge node using a low power long-range 802.15.4-based radio. The edge uses 3G to connect to the Internet.
Because all the rice field data can be sent to the Internet through a single 3G edge node, the system cost is low.
Our next planned event is the rice planting in our deployment site in Kamogawa. Anybody's welcome to join. Especially if you bring champagne :D
You can go to the facebook event page for more info and updates
Absolutely. The whole point of TechRice is to make a system that's easy to use, even for people who are not engineers.
We use sonar to measure the distance to the sensor box to the water surface. So if the distance grows, it means that water is decreaseing in the paddy. Based on the rate, we determine if it's due to evaporation, or because there's a leak in the paddy side.
Currently we measure temperature and humidity inside of the enclosure, as well as solar level voltage and battery voltage.
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