Growver intelligently waters lawns, even beyond Sesame Street

Homeowners rely on lawn sprinkler systems to maintain their lawns. But those systems tend to waste a lot of water, can be costly to maintain, and sometimes do a mediocre — or worse — job of actually keeping grass alive.

patent-claimedGrowver is a lawn-watering robot that saves water by irrigating the lawn as it goes. Water sensors in the robot detect which areas of the yard are dry so that Growver can revive them. It works in conjunction with an Android, iOS and Windows app that enables users to track how their lawns are doing over time, adjust water levels, and also control Growver remotely.

The robot drives back and forth over the lawn and waters a 20-inch wide path. First, Growver’s sensors guide it along the boundary wire. After watering the perimeter, the product fills in the entire area using patent-pending sensor technology to follow the wet-dry transition. Measurements via grass moisture sensors and water-flow data also let Growver intelligently adjust watering depth. It stops automatically when the entire area is watered.

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Sprinkl smart watering system keeps plants hydrated, saves money and water

Over-watering, under-watering and weather conditions can mean certain death for gardens, plants or crops anywhere. Most have sprinklers set to automatically water their lawns every night, whether it’s raining or not. These systems fail to take rain or lack thereof into account when hydrating plants.

Sprinkl is a smart watering system that does more than just spew water everywhere. First of all, it monitors the soil, checking hydration levels at all times. After that, it syncs up to weather forecasts. Simply input location and it’ll see what’s coming in the way of moisture. In addition, it takes into account local water conservation laws. Sometimes, a town or city will put a ban on lawn watering to make sure there’s enough water for everyone. Sprinkl makes sure that laws are followed, keeps the lawn hydrated, but won’t over-water in times of heavy rainfall.

Using Wi-Fi the sensor in the ground keeps the touchpad inside up to date on everything that’s going on. The screen displays date, time, temperature, soil level, past rainfall, next rainfall, watering schedule and zones. If different areas need different levels of moisture, the touchscreen makes that possible.

As far as smart sprinklers go, Sprinkl is a great one. With its myriad of options and ease of use, it’s completely versatile for any garden. For $299 backers can get one with one sensor by May 2015. Higher reward tiers offer more sensors for larger lawns and gardens. Sprinkl is hoping to raise $150,000 on Kickstarter.


SensorJet is a smart system for putting out fires

Kitchen safety is important given the fact that about half of house fires start in the kitchen. Having working smoke detectors, the right tools at hand, knowing how to use them, and remaining calm usually keeps a bad situation from turning into a disaster. But what if the fire starts when no one is in the room or when no one is home?

SensorJet is an alternative to a sprinkler system that hooks directly into a person’s existing kitchen water supply. The product has a ceiling heat sensor that works to alert the water jet to send out a fine mist of water to put out a fire, significantly reducing water damage. It can be installed by a plumber, whereas a sprinkler system installation can be more complex. In the event of a fire, it uses far more water when it goes off, causing far more water damage and flooding.

Another thing to consider about kitchen fires is that most of them are grease fires. That being said, water makes grease fires worse rather than putting them out. The best thing for a grease fire is to turn off the heat source if possible, and smother the flames. Baking soda does the job, but it requires a ton to properly put out a fire. A kitchen fire extinguisher is also a good option. SensorJet could possibly be useful in other rooms with existing water supplies, such as a basement laundry room or a master bathroom connected to a bedroom. This campaign is seeking to raise $150,000 by November 23, 2014, and early bird backers can get one system for $230, which includes shipping. Expected delivery is June 2015.