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Team 99808A Presents: The Amazing Hydro-Bot

NOVA_IQ_Robotics
Entry ID #: 9806
Created: Mon, May 31, 2021 12:32 AM


Team 99808A Presents: The Amazing Plant-Watering Hydro-bot!

By Jesse and Jeanelle Reyna
 

Problem:

We love to plant and tend to our garden, but we realized that sometimes it is hard to tend to the plants when we leave the house.   For example, if we were to leave the house for a week-long vacation, we need to make sure that our plants get the right amount of water and nutrition! 

Challenge Accepted!

We want to design a robot that can easily water our plants while we are on vacation. With this challenge in mind, we designed the Hydro-Bot! The Hydro-Bot is an easy way to water your plants with the correct amount of water while you are gone. It includes a rope-like wick that transfers water from a small reservoir directly to your houseplants! 

Research:

When we first started designing what the Hydro-Bot would look like, we looked at multiple hydroponic systems. A hydroponic system is a Hydro-Bot but on a larger scale. After that, we started to imagine a hydroponic system that we could build ourselves! Recycling is very important to us, so we started to look for things we could use as materials to create one at home.

Materials List:

We got creative for the recycling challenge, and we looked around our house for materials that could create the best Hydro-Bot! You can also get very creative with craft items if you do decide to make your own Hydro-Bot! You can use paint, stickers, or even printed patterns to customize the Hydro-Bot of your dreams!

Materials:

  • Old t-shirt

  • Large empty plastic container

  • Colored and/or Printed Design Paper

Tools:

  • Scissors

  • Colored Pencils/Markers

  • Tape

  • Craft items

Other needed items: Water, plants.

 

Start of The Creation Process:

We have a lot of old shirts that we outgrew, and we decided to cut strips of them and braid them into a mini-rope, or a wick. When placed into water, the shirt-wick moves water from the robot reservoir into the plant holder.

How does this happen? It’s because nature always seeks an equilibrium and it wants to balance out the moisture in the soil and the reservoir!

The wicks work because of something called the  “capillary effect.” This effect is when a liquid flows in a narrow space without the use of gravity. Sometimes, like with this wick, the water flows even in opposition to gravity!

Wick Creation

Test

Next we tested our robot’s wick.  Which works better?  The wick or a basic strip of fabric (control)?

Results:

In the end, we discovered that the wick performed better than the control.

The control strip was unable to transport water past its physical contact point, where it remained floating on the surface level.  The braided wick, on the other hand, had a heavier knot at the end, which sank it past the water surface, and helped it absorb more water.

Building The Robot

Now, it is time for us to start constructing our Hydro-Bot!

 1.  Gather materials needed.

2.  Cut out shapes and robot decorations.

3.  Tape robot body onto the framework. (recycled plastic container)

4.  Fill container with water.

5.  Arrange plants around Hydro-Bot.

7.  Put one end of the wicks into the water.

8.  Put the other wick end into the plant soil.

9.  Relax on vacation knowing that your plants are safe with Hydro-Bot!

Hydrobot Meets Plants!

Robot Photo 1: Hydro-Bot meets the plants that will be left in his care!

Testing the robot:

Robot Photo 2: Hydro-Bot Top View shows how wicks transfer water to the plants.

The Amazing Plant Watering Hydro-Bot Saves the Day!

Robot Photo 3: Isometric View of Hydro-Bot in Action

FInal Thoughts:

After finally constructing and testing our Hydro-Bot, we realized that the wicks work a little bit too well, and they drip onto the surface beneath them. To fix this problem, we can put a bath towel underneath the wicks while Hydro-Bot is at work. 

As a team, we are very proud that Hydro-Bot is made 100% out of recycled and recyclable material, and that it fulfills an important need while staying healthy for the environment. Using the Engineering Design Cycle, we were able to create a fantastic recycle-bot! We look forward to using it many times, and we are excited to expand our family of Hydro-Bots!

Credits

  • Customizable Slide Themes: Slidesgo  (Worlds Environment Day)

  • Hydroponic System Diagram: High Tech Gardening 

  • Customizable Character Symbols/Graphics: Storyset

  • Special thanks to our Mom who let us test Hydro-Bot on her plants!

 

Word Count: 748

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