Austin Hooper

Austin Hooper

Degree: BSc Computing (Software Engineering)

Project title: Web Enabled IoT in a Wireless Sensor Network Used to Monitor and Control Reptile Terrariums

*Winner: Best Development Project


Austin’s LinkedIn Profile

My project explored wireless sensor networks and IoT being used to automatically monitor and control temperature, humidity and lighting of captive reptile terrariums. Reptiles need specific environment parameters, primarily temperature and humidity. Having kept pet lizards, I was familiar with both the requirements and the problem to solve, which allowed me to bring my passion for these animals and technology together. The literature review explored current academic and industrial work in the area of IoT, sensor networks and their integration with web front-ends. The objectives consisted of interviews and a literature review as research, the design and development of a hardware and software system, and testing of the developed system.

The project used ESP8266 prototype boards programmed in Arduino (C/C++) as node devices, reading sensors and relaying information back to a Raspberry Pi web server and a MySQL database. These node devices requested target parameters from the web server using HTTP GET requests, and based on the current readings, would power or un-power relays in order to meet the targets. These relays controlled a sprayer, Ultraviolet light, and heating pad. The web server hosted a Progressive Web Application developed using PHP, JavaScript, SVG, HTML, and CSS, among other technologies. This application allows for changing the requirements and target temperature and humidity, along with monitoring using Google Charts and custom-developed SVG dials.

The system was found to be very successful. Functional testing showed temperature control was within approximately 1°C of the 32°C target, and humidity was within approximately 10% of the 75% target. User experience testing, along with the System Usability Scale, was used to test the web application’s usability. This was positive overall, scoring 78/100, with the participants pleased overall with the usability. The project met the objectives, and therefore the aim, very well. The literature review was met fully, though further interviews with industry sources would have been beneficial – this was limited by COVID-19 social distancing. Design and development of the deliverable were both successful, and testing proved the functionality and accuracy. Future work could involve expanding to care for other animals, plants, or more general “Smart Cities” type concepts such as building environment control.

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Poster board

Click/tap on image to view as PDF.