Senior Design Projects

ECS193 A/B Winter & Spring 2020

Internet-Of-Things (IoT) for Smart Food Systems

Name David Slaughter
Affiliation UC Davis

Project's details

Project title Internet-Of-Things (IoT) for Smart Food Systems
Background Societies around the world are facing unprecedented challenges in the endeavor to provide food security to all people. Two billion people—nearly a third of global population—are currently food insecure, a number that will increase by 30% in the next four decades. Feeding two billion more people by 2050 is one of the most critical challenges facing humanity. Imagine a world with food production systems capable of feeding 10 billion people while sustaining the planet. A place where remote sensors optimize water use by delivering soil data to irrigation systems or where drones quickly identify illness in animals and notify ranchers. Imagine, too, a future when farmers worldwide employ breakthrough technologies for more resilient, efficient and profitable production.
Smart Farm at UC Davis will be a place where a new generation of engineers will create smart machines that use sensors to rapidly learn the needs of each plant and animal and provide them with the individualized care and biologists and environmental scientists will transform plant and animal breeding and welfare to rise to the challenges of low resource utilization, climate change, and environmental sustainability and accelerate the creation of superior plants and intimate animal care to thrive in the farm of the future.
These technological advances in agriculture will create a growing demand for smart IoT devices that can control individualized care delivery actions remotely through information passed through the Internet. It is currently estimated that by the year 2025 there will be in excess of 60 billion smart devices (not counting smartphones) that are connected to the internet and that are used by people in their daily lives (from coffee makers to self-driving cars).
Description The design team will create an open-source software solution to allow students (both inside and outside the College of Engineering) working on smart technologies for feeding the world to develop new sensing technologies that can be monitored through the Internet and can allow remote delivery of individualized care actions to plant and animals in the food production system.
The team will be provided with the following mobile IoT hardware:
Parallax Propeller multi-core microprocessor (one per team member) with the following
• ESP8266 WiFi module
• 128 x 64 OLED display
• Access to I2C, 7 I/O's, MicroSD card slot, Two 3-way rocker buttons
Wireless router.
Parallax open source software.
Simple sensors and control relay hardware.
Deliverable The project goal is to develop open source software and instructional materials that will allow:
• A student with a smart device (smart phone or tablet) to access a webpage hosted on the ESP8266 WiFi module.
• Enter a decision threshold trigger on that webpage. For example, a high temperature limit.
• When the environmental conditions cause the threshold condition to be triggered, an electronic message will be sent to the Webhooks server at
• A Webhooks Applet will be created to receive the message and to forward a web HTTP POST request to a target ESP8266 WiFi module.
• The Propeller microprocessor connected to the target ESP8266 WiFi module will parse the incoming HTTP POST request and take the desired action. In the high temperature example, it would turn on a local fan attached to the Propeller to cool the biological system.
• Code would be written in the C language and then converted into BlocklyProp to make the system accessible to students with limited programming abilities.
Skill set desirable The team would have experience with programming, HTML, Javascript, and use of a small microprocessor like Arduino, etc.
Phone number 752-5553
Client time availability 30-60 min weekly or more
IP requirement Open source project
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