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CrowdFunding promotion Wise Orchard: smart watering for your garden

posted Jul 2, 2015, 11:55 AM by J Shaw   [ updated Jul 2, 2015, 11:56 AM ]


The sprinkler valve that makes watering easy and optimal, helping plants thrive while saving you time and water. Make it real with us.

About this project

Making gardening easier and better

Wise Orchard is a smart irrigation system that automatically adjusts your watering schedule for you and helps you take better care of your plants. No more guessing the right watering schedule every time the weather changes. This also saves you money and helps conserve precious water. Wise Orchard is remotely accessible on the Internet, super-easy to use, affordable and smart, granting you an unprecedented level of automation and control over your watering. Simply attach it to your standard tap or hose and you're good to go.

How it works

Wise Orchard pulls local weather data automatically from multiple weather forecast services and thousands of weather stations in order to create and adjust your personalized watering plan in real time. It can also take information on soil types at your location from publicly available databases and it comes with a temperature sensor as well.

With all that information, together with the information you provide on your types of plants and soil, it estimates evapotranspiration, runoff and other relevant parameters that help it better determine what your plant’s needs are in order to adjust your watering schedule automatically and provide you with tips on how to better take care of your plants.

What Wise Orchard can do for you

We designed Wise Orchard with both novice and expert gardeners in mind. It simplifies taking care of your garden if you don’t know how to water or can’t afford to spend the time to make manual adjustments as the weather changes. It also lowers your water bill and helps conserve more water. Being based in hot southern Europe, we know a thing or two about drought and water conservation. For expert gardeners, we offer an unprecedented level of customization that will let you take your garden care to the next level.

Wise Orchard will not only automate your watering, it will also use its plant database to offer you tips on how to better grow your plants:

  • Get advice on what to plant and when to plant it based on your local weather and conditions
  • Get advice about when it's time to prune, when it's time to harvest, etc.
  • Get warned if temperatures are about to drop below freezing, to protect both your plants and your irrigation system
  • Get warned in advance of floods, heavy rain, high temperatures and other natural phenomena that can cause you trouble
  • You can toggle alerts to receive only the ones you're interested in

Wise Orchard technology

Key Wise Orchard valve features:

  • Connected to the Internet via Wifi, with OTA (over-the-air) software updates
  • Automatically waters your plants when they need it using artificial intelligence algorithms that adjust your watering schedule intelligently. It can also be configured manually.
  • Plant database to better plan your watering schedule and help you take better take care of your plants
  • Easy to install (drop-in replacement for your current irrigation timer / programmer)
  • Compatible with most drip irrigation and garden hose-fed sprinklers.
  • Fits standard pipe threads in the US and Europe: Garden Hose Thread (GHT 1 1/16th") for USA and BSP ¾’’ for Europe (we’ll send the one appropriate for you based on your location).
  • Measures ambient temperature and it warns you when temperatures go near freezing so you can choose to winterize your irrigation system so that pipes don’t burst
  • Requires household water pressure 
  • Powered by 4 AA batteries
  • Backup: your watering schedule is stored on the device so it will keep working even when there’s no Internet connection.

Key Wise Orchard mobile app and online website features:

  • Manual or custom watering schedule, controlling the Wise Orchard valve remotely
  • Lets you set periods of time when it’s ok or not ok to water. Wise Orchard will automatically decide when to water within the allowed intervals.
  • Lets you do all the configuration from your smartphone
  • You can snooze watering for the day or for any period of time with the touch of a button, so you won’t be bothered when it’s inconvenient to water
  • Control as many zones / valves as you want from the app
  • Lets you activate alerts to receive tips to help you take care of your plants

Prototype

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Production timeline

We plan on posting regular updates as we progress towards delivering the product to you. We'll let you see every stage of the process and keep you posted about any issues we find.

Our team

Alvaro Salmador, founder
I am a software engineer and gardening enthusiast and I’m always looking for ways to make things better through the use of advanced technologies. I’ve worked on modeling & simulation research at Indra and I have extensive experience in several fields including machine learning and machine vision. I have designed consumer electronics products before (a softair shooting chronograph) and I’ve also created a face recognition engine and mobile app, so I’m aware of the challenges hardware start-ups face. I have a master’s degree in computer science.

Andrés Díaz, consultant on design and manufacturing
Andrés is a professor at UPM, with extensive experience in design and manufacturing, plastic injection molding, micromechanical systems and bio-compatible devices. He’s an invaluable resource for designing for manufacturabilty. He’s published many scientific papers and books.

Cristina Coello, operations and supply chain 
Cristina has a decade of experience in operations and supply chain management and will help us make sure we’ll manufacture our product and get it to our backers without issue.

Why Kickstarter

We are currently testing several working prototypes in the field and we need your help to finish the engineering work and manufacture our first production run. We’ve chosen Kickstarter because we want to interact with users and let them have an impact on our product. We want you to have a say and provide feedback to make Wise Orchard a better product. We hope you’ll help us make our system more accurate and useful for everyone else. 

Risks and challenges

Over the past six months we’ve put a lot of work on this project. We have created the industrial design, engineered the electronics and found reliable partners for sourcing the necessary parts and manufacturing the product.

From the start, we designed the product with manufacturing in mind, following established engineering practices and established manufacturing processes, so our prototypes are the closest approximation to the final product. With your help, if we reach our Kickstarter goal we’ll have enough funds for tooling and production of our first batch.

We’ve built and tested prototypes that are now providing us useful data to complete the software development. While it’s impossible to plan for every risk, with our highly experienced team we’re confident that we can deal with the delays and setbacks that might occur during manufacturing so that there won’t be a negative impact on the project schedule.