Date of Graduation

5-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Biological Engineering

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Biological and Agricultural Engineering

Advisor

Matlock, Marty

Reader

Costello, Tom

Second Reader

Christie, Mark

Third Reader

Haggard, Brian

Abstract

The “Automated Control System Design Manual for Plant Growth and Support” project contains a teaching manual for high school students and teachers to use to aid in teaching STEM subjects. Building confidence in students and encouraging the pursuit of STEM related fields is one of the primary functions. This project utilizes low cost instruments and freely available software to teach the construction, installation, programming, and application for an automated control system with emphasis on plant growth and regulation. The end result is a fully automated system that can be controlled wirelessly via an android application to monitor temperature, humidity, and soil moisture. Based on the inputs the system can also automatically control a water pump and LED lamp through either a simple button push or automatic set points. The system regulates a plant’s growth potential through the optimization of water and light delivered to the plant. This small scale system is designed to regulate the growth of a plant or plant system and is meant to teach the basics of automatic control technology. The system could be scaled up using a larger control system to regulate a larger biological system. This manual provides a step by step solution for how to wire up the soil moisture, temperature, and humidity sensors to monitor the environmental conditions of the biological system. This system controls a light and water pumping system to regulate and sustain the plant without manual intervention. The instruments can be controlled through the simple touch of a button on the phone application or using an automatic set point when the system goes above or below the desired criteria.

The attached manual provides instruction on how these systems can be controlled wirelessly over the internet with the creation and implementation of a phone application for android devices. The phone application outlined in this manual allows for monitoring of the system, assigning set points, and using manual buttons to control the system. The phone application section of the manual teaches HMI creation for a user friendly device as well as block coding logic for the control portion. This manual teaches both block coding for creating a phone application and C++ coding for the Arduino software used to program the control board. Overall, this project encourages students to pursue STEM related disciplines by helping to build confidence in programming, biology, electrical engineering, physics, and engineering design.

Keywords

Automated, Microcontroller, Education, Manual, Plant Growth

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