A group of researchers in Algeria have proposed a new irrigation system based on Internet of Things (IoT), Raspberry Pi, and fuzzy logic control processes.
The project aims to optimise plant growing conditions, while reducing water and energy consumption.
What is a fuzzy control system?
I looked around but good old Wikipedia actually came through this time with the clearest, most succinct definition (Liz says her rice cooker has FUZZY LOGIC written on it in big friendly letters, but when questioned more closely turned out to be bluffing when she’d suggested she knew what that actually meant):
Fuzzy logic is widely used in machine control. The term “fuzzy” refers to the fact that the logic involved can deal with concepts that cannot be expressed as “true” or “false” but rather as “partially true”… fuzzy logic has the advantage that the solution to the problem can be cast in terms that human operators can understand… This makes it easier to mechanise tasks that are already successfully performed by humans.
We are still not sure how this would apply to a rice cooker.
How does it work?
Wireless sensors are installed in different test ‘zones’ around a greenhouse. The network sends data about each ‘zone’ environment, such as soil humidity and temperature, to the Raspberry Pi.
Then a fuzzy logic controller processes the data and makes “an intelligent and optimal decision” about how to best control irrigation in that zone.
The team tested their energy-saving system on tomato plants and, when comparing this Raspberry Pi-powered irrigation technique against three others, found that water use and energy consumption decreased significantly.
Who designed this?
This smart zoning irrigation system is the work of Hamza Benyezza, Mounir Bouhedda, and Samia Rebouh from the University of Medea in Algeria. We’re hoping to see some examples of it being used in the wild – we’ll let you know if we find any!