In 2015, we launched Makers Against Drought (M.A.D.), a challenge to makers all around the world to help solve the California water crisis with ingenuity and IoT technology. From over 500 ideas submitted from 57 countries, we chose the best, most interesting, and most well-thought out entries, and sent out Samsung ARTIK developer kits to start work. After several months and two stages of submissions, we now have our winners!
And the Grand Prize goes to…
Our Grand Prize winner is Team EDDI (formerly known as The Water Warriors), for their entrant, EDDI! Their winning effort earns them the top prize of $90,000 to go with the $10,000 they earned for being among the 10 semi-finalists.
EDDI, short for Electrodialysis Desalinator for Irrigation, was created by six friends from New York City, whose expertise ranges from web development to UX/UI design. The Water Warriors researched the California drought and found that agriculture is the biggest water user, accounting for approximately 75-80% of the state’s human water consumption. One reason for the high rate is that farmers often have to over-water their fields to deal with the salt content in irrigation water. The team realized that an electro-dialysis solution could a cost-effective and energy-efficient way to desalinate the water.
When we first met Team EDDI, we were impressed by their vision of sustainability and versatility that drove EDDI’s design. EDDI provides farmers with an alternative to removing salt from the water that is used for irrigation, thus improving soil quality and increasing crop yields while saving water.
With 47 qualifying submissions and many incredible proposals, the M.A.D. judging panel had its work cut out in highlighting a winner. In the end, our judges chose EDDI for the sustainability of its use cases, integration of the provided ARTIK 10 development kit, and the potential viability and technical application of the solution.
We’ve invited Team EDDI to present their solution to the entire Samsung Strategy and Innovation Center team on August 26, as well as at a major upcoming IoT event—stay tuned!
Yet more winners!
Makers Against Drought was a competition about working together to solve problems. We’d like to highlight a few more winning projects, which included 10 Finalists, 10 Honorable Mentions, and 1 Popular Choice selection.
The ARTIK Smart Water Meter took the Popular Choice award. This ARTIK-powered water meter is designed to receive a daily allotment of water set by water authorities, and includes an interactive dashboard and business intelligence that provides access to real-time sensor data. It’s a great example of how a stronger connection between consumers and companies can open the door to smarter usage and new solutions.
While many Finalists focused on saving water, the Urban Hydroponic Oasis focused on growth—using ARTIK 5 as the gateway for a vertical smart garden and the Farm Controller app that grows a high density of plants and efficiently uses water by recirculating it. We liked the project’s modern update of a farming solution used by ancient civilizations, as well as the step-by-step documentation of constructing the garden from hardware store parts.
The Eva project, which received an Honorable Mention, presented an autonomous floating IoT hydrometeorology lab to map the evaporation rates of waterways. These small, smart devices were built in the spirit of IoT solving complex issues by making “vast amounts of raw, unsegregated data easy to gather and quick to analyze.”
Another Honorable Mention project, Dropwatch, integrated with Amazon Alexa, challenging family members to take the shortest showers by monitoring usage time and awarding badges. Sometimes simple motivation is what we need!
# What’s next for the Challenge?
Since a number of M.A.D. participants used the ARTIK Cloud data exchange platform in their solutions, we’d also like to point everyone to the ARTIK Cloud Challenge, a chance to win prizes and Samsung hardware by creating new IoT connections to the cloud.
Stay tuned for guest blogs featuring our Grand Prize winner, standout Finalists and Honorable Mentions, plus social media highlights!