Regular readers of Hackaday are probably already aware of the Hackaday prize competition, where readers are invited to submit their own hack or design to win a grand prize. This year’s competition also included some extra prizes for specific categories and Hackaday have just announced that the “Vinduino” project is the winner of the “Best Product” category.
Vinduino is a project which I’ve been following with interest, as it centres around automated irrigation of a vineyard and I happen to be a fruit farmer who has irrigation problems (usually solved with a big water tank and lots of buckets) and also grows grapes as a major crop (though not for wine). Reinier van der Lee has put a lot of effort into experimentation, production and documentation of his project over the course of the past year and has now reaped the reward in the form of $100k cash funding, as well as a full year of residency at the Pasadena Supplyframe Design Lab, to get his project developed into a product.
As you’d expect from the name, the project started out as purely Arduino based but, as with many projects over the past year and a half, has managed to incorporate an ESP8266 along the way for internet connectivity. Although using an ESP-01 connected to an Arduino Pro-Mini and using the AT commend set is unlikely to have any of our more seasoned readers sprinting for their soldering iron, it’s worth noting that this is a working project with PCBs available on-line (from our friends over at OSH Park) and full code from GitHub, so you can replicate it and have it working in a very short time.
Very many congratulations to Reinier for a well executed project and a deserved win. I look forward to seeing the finished products and will certainly be breaking out the plaster-of-paris over the slower winter months to try my hand at his version of soil moisture sensors.