Vinduino is one of those projects that set out to solve a really big problem which straight away makes it interesting. Reinier van der Lee wanted to use the least amount of water possible for irrigation in his southern California vineyard. Hence the Vinduino project was made to be a relatively low cost system to help save on water use. It is also solar powered, further reducing its impact on the environment.
Water is wasted in irrigation systems because normally you have no way of knowing how far down water has penetrated into the soil. If you’ve gone past the roots of whatever it is you are trying to water, this water is wasted. Reinier has made a useful gif illustrating how the vinduino solves this problem and reduces water usage by 25%:
For farmers who have to pay for water, using the least amount of water possible for irrigation makes economic sense. For those in countries that have a limited supply of water, it means they can grow the same amount of food using 25% less. The fact Vinduino can run off solar power makes it ideal for use in developing countries.
Vinduino, which was named “Best Product” in the 2015 Hackaday Prize, is documented over on Hackaday.io. Give it a look if you are interested and consider joining the project if you think you could take it further or improve on it!