Agricultural solution to globally optimise the use of water by using low-cost sensor

Even though the water resource is limited, the application of water to garden farms or to agriculture currently relies on the cultivator’s past experiences and intuition. Plants grown at home to lighten people’s lives may die from too much or lack of water as well.
In addition, in dry areas of the world, we can predict that the use of diminishing water resource will be even more limited and the cost may rise. In this situation, development of solution using low-cost and easy to use sensor is needed worldwide.

Our product can measure the soil moisture by sensors that can detect the change in capacitance. Since we use printed technology, we can make the sensors low-cost whether for small amount or for mass production. We believe that the sensors can be used for optimisation of irrigation in large farms or cash crops, and also for predicting natural disasters like land slides and cliff collapses.

Products

Home use version

Measures the soil moisture and notify by LED light by using the small sensor produced by printed electronics
Can be used for plants grown indoors to small garden farms
Sold at Aisan Electronics(Akihabara, Japan)

Farm use version

Measures the soil moisture and temperature of the installed point by using sensors that can measure at multiple depths
The data can be viewed via web/ smartphone app
Can be used both in greenhouse and in outside farms
Will be in stores soon

Features


SenSprout is a craft kit

All you need to do is put the parts together and insert into the soil you want to monitor the soil moisture.
No complicated installation is necessary.
You can measure the soil moisture and the attached LED light changes color according to the soil moisture level, so you can instantly know if you need to water the plant or not.

The watering of plants that used to rely on intuition can now be done according to the data obtained from monitoring by SenSprout. This will lead to saving of a water resource, and now you won’t kill your plants by giving too much water.

The LED light changes color (red, blue and green) according to soil moisture level.

Not enough water is red, good amount is blue, and too much is green

How to use

Putting the parts together

Please follow the instructions included in the kit

Deploying the sensor

Set the sensor and cover it by soil

Press soil to ensure the sensor solidly contacts the soil

Water the plant so that it’s at adequate moisture level

Initial setting

Hold the leaf shaped touch sensor

The LED starts blinking with white color. When it stops, initial setting is done

Current moisture level is now considered as good

Using the sensor

Touch the leaf sensor and activate the LED to confirm current moisture level

The color will let you know the current moisture situation

Please refer to the above features section for the relationship between color and moisture level

Research and development

We establish the technology necessary to make the product by joint research with the labs in University of Tokyo’s Faculty of Engineering and Faculty of Agricultural and Life Sciences

Agriculture was thought to be a great area of application for the sensors produced by the company’s technical advisor and IoT researcher Yoshihiro Kawahara. When the research was published in 2012, it gained attention from various areas and fields, making Kawahara believe that this research needs to be made into business. This led to founding the company in January, 2015.

In order to supplement the knowledge in the field of agriculture, the company collaborates with Professor Masaru Mizoguchi, who specialises in technology of environmental monitoring based on environmental soil physics, to produce low cost and high quality sensors.

Asami and Kawahara Lab, Faculty of Engineering, University of Tokyo (in Japanese)
http://www.akg.t.u-tokyo.ac.jp/

Mizoguchi Lab, Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Tokyo (in Japanese)
http://www.iai.ga.a.u-tokyo.ac.jp/mizo/mizolab.html