Home automation is a technology to make your home smarter. It involves electronic devices such as lighting, air conditioner, heating, ventilation, or security camera. These devices have the sensor to read the condition and trigger the action automatically when the stipulated state has filled. The owner of the smart gadget also can monitor and config it remotely by connecting it to the Internet. For example, an intelligent thermostat can turn on the heater when the temperature drop and the user can check the status from another location.
Why do you want to apply home automation technology to your farm?
As an urban farmer, you have the advantage to get Internet access easily. So, why don’t you utilise it to automate your farm? You can monitor the condition of your home vegetable garden even when you are not at home. Moreover, your garden can water itself even when you are on vacation. If you have a small greenhouse at home, you can open and close the ventilation automatically. The possibility to automate your farm is endless.
Before applying home automation technology on your farm, you should decide which part of it that you want to automate. Let’s assume you want to automate the irrigation part. The first step to do is determining the trigger of the irrigation system. Is it merely by a timer, by the city weather, or by soil condition? Is it always need an Internet connection to run or not? After that, you must find a way to start flowing the water to your farm. There are many off-the-shelf irrigation devices to choose. If your requirement is controlling it remotely, then you need a system that has WiFi connectivity.
However, building an automation system is not a mundane task. You have to choose the suitable sensor and automation device available on the market. The hardest part is, every sensor and automation device cannot be easily compatible with each other. So, you have to find a workaround to make the whole system work seamlessly.
My wife and I also experienced that hassle when we started to build automation and monitoring system at our home vegetable garden. We need a system that can record the condition of our farm so that we can use the recorded data to analyse the growth of the crops. We also love travelling together. Therefore we need an automation system to control the watering system and the fan.
Currently, we are building a small computer as an automation hub, so that we can integrate many sensors and home automation tools hassle free. We called it Terra the farm computer. It is still in prototype, but we have a plan to mass produce it soon.