UBC Undergraduate Research

Aquaponics Monitoring and Control System : Piponics : An open-source, ‘Internet of Things’ device and mobile application Berry, Carson; Chan, Lynes; Duan, Mason; Leong, Jayden; Xu, Hannah


Piponics is a system that monitors and control aspects, such as pH, and water level of a small or medium scale hydroponics/aquaponic system. The Piponics system contains a Raspberry Pi component which would monitor the hydroponics/aquaponic system through various sensors and actuators. The Piponics system also comprises a companion mobile application where the user can access hydroponic/aquaponic systems tied to their account and can monitor and control the specific sensors and actuators on the corresponding hydroponic/aquaponic system. The goal of the Piponics system is to create an affordable hydroponics/aquaponics monitoring system for small scale growers and hobbyists which is in line with SEEDS goal of advancing the wellbeing of the environment and advancing food systems. The Piponics system is intended to be open source so that different sensors and actuators can easily be added to fit the need of any hydroponic/aquaponic system. The objective of creating this system was to address SEED’s goals of advancing the wellbeing of the environment, food systems, responsible consumption, and community inclusion. Piponics is an affordable and open-source system that was created to address these issues. With the Piponics system, small scale growers and hobbyists are empowered and enabled to grow affordable, local, and organic produce in the communities. The Piponics system would also provide educational and research benefits as the system is configurable and stores long term data of sensor measurements for future analysis. The planned use of the Piponics system is to be a part of any aquaponic installations on UBC campus which would serve to provide affordable, local, and organic produce to the community members on campus. This project stands out from other aquaponic monitoring and control systems due to its low cost, high quality documentation, expandability for future work, and open-source code and design. The Piponics system has two main components; the hardware system, which includes the Raspberry Pi, sensors, actuators, and the battery, and the software system, which includes the mobile application. The hardware system includes the Raspberry Pi, sensors, actuators, and the battery. The Raspberry Pi is the computing device that sends the values measured by the sensors to Google Cloud and is what receives commands from the Google Cloud to operate the actuators. The hardware system is encased in a plastic casing that protects the circuitry from outside elements such as water. The battery is included in the system as backup power in case of a power outage. The software system includes the mobile application which is connected to Google Cloud. The software system can query the sensor data from Google cloud as well as send commands to the systems actuators. Each user is authenticated on the mobile application and allows registered users to add, view, and control multiple hydroponic/aquaponic systems to their account provided they know the system's unique identifiers. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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