This year I am finalizing the design, construction and installation of a seed bed heating system for the plants within the Schenectady ARC greenhouse. The greenhouse at the Schenectady ARC is used to help teach individuals with varying learning disabilities the science of horticulture to hopefully allow them to one day pursue a job within the field. With that being said, the major specification of this system is for it to be very easy to use for the individuals with developmental disabilities, and controlled by an iconized touch display that is very easy to understand.
This is a very large project and has been started but not completed by two other students. The system was able to properly sense the temperature of the seed bed and turn on the heating pad when necessary, but lacked qualities of an embedded system necessary for implementation at the Schenectady ARC. After analyzing the system’s current state, tasks were laid out that needed to be completed before usage by the Schenectady ARC could occur.
The past terms I have been working on getting the program to start automatically when the system is given power, organizing the wiring of the system and completely waterproofing the system. All of this was necessary in order to install the system at the greenhouse. I have also been worried about the longevity of the system, which I have addressed in multiple ways. I have supplied backup parts for almost every part in the system, and made each of these parts easy to install with full instructions on how to do so, as well as duplicating the system in order to install at the Union College greenhouse so testing and bug fixes can be done on campus without having to take multiple trips to the Schenectady ARC to fix problems that may occur.