Android app updates

Changing Places,MIT Media Lab,SproutsIO — collaborator @ 5:26 pm

Hooray! The demo works! Jenny, Blake, Louis, and I have been working quite a bit this past week on getting the tower into a demo-able state, and it looks like everything has paid off. On my part of the demo, the “Try me” screen on the app has improved quite a bit in terms of usability and design. There are now misting controls for individual pods, as well as buttons to control misting on a tier level. The water/nutrient dispenser buttons are now password-protected, to keep people from accidentally overflowing anything.

Search has also improved quite a bit; in particular:

  • Matched text is displayed in bold
  • Searching plant names shows the plant’s library listing, then pods with that plant
  • Clicking on a search result shows either the plant’s library listing or the clicked tower/tier/pod

Also, new plants have been added. Something to note: it would also seem that scientific names are going to be inadequate for uniquely identifying a type of plant, since “red leaf lettuce” and “lettuce” are both called “Lactuca sativa”.

Still to do is add some demo notifications, and figure out what towers/tiers/pods/plants should be shown for the demo.

SproutsIO app progress

Changing Places,MIT Media Lab,SproutsIO — collaborator @ 9:26 pm

Hello, Alex again. Still working on implementing existing features, mostly by making menu buttons work. This week, I added actual functionality to the “Search” button (see pictures below). The current implementation searches the name of all systems, tiers, and pods, as well as the name and information for each plant type. Nothing fancy, just string matching, then prioritizing the results. I’ve also been working with Blake to get data from the server; currently there’s code written to pull sensor readings, but no buttons to actually activate syncing. Hooking up the two is on my to-do list for this week, along with general UI prettying-up for Member Week. Also on the list is setting up communication with a SeedPod Mini; I built a UI demo last week, but the actual functionality is nowhere near ready.

Jenny and I decided to put off actual scheduling of misting and lighting until after the big demo, favoring instead a “Try Me” approach. To that end I’ve added a (really) basic screen with some switches to turn lights and misters on the SproutsIO on and off. Also, the feedback screen works; it sends any comments to a PHP script hosted on my MIT web_scripts folder, which emails the results to somebody.

Chosen Decal

Changing Places,MIT Media Lab,SproutsIO — collaborator @ 8:53 pm

Hello again. This past weekend we started with placing some of the vinyl decals. The design is now more of a framing of the glass partition overlooking the lobby, as opposed to the previous idea of having decals run along the top and bottom. The one test case pictured below is dark green vinyl, which is (as you may notice) dificult to notice and not particularly eye catching. The final vinyls will  be light green.

New backdrops and decal designs

Changing Places,MIT Media Lab,SproutsIO — collaborator @ 9:00 pm

Hello again. I’ve recently drawn up some designs for both the backdrop and window decals. As mentioned in my previous post, I will be ditching the produce-themed backdrop and instead having a more natural looking background.

As for the decals, I’ve made a set of three that I thought would be appropriate since it is simply a matter of repetition.

Below are six possible combinations, as well as the decals designs:

New application features

Changing Places,MIT Media Lab,SproutsIO — collaborator @ 5:23 pm

Hi, Alex here again. I’ve been working primarily on adding some new, demo-able features to the SeedPod Android app, notably

  • preliminary support for reading data via NFC, for the SeedPod Mini
  • a calendar view to schedule events that repeat weekly, like misting and lighting cycles
  • a graphing view to show graphs of sensor data (currently random)
  • a visual indicator for the selected pod in tablet view

Blake and I have also been working on a format for transferring data between the server and app; the final implementation will be using JSON to encapsulate data structures since it is language-independent and easy to parse.

SeedPod: Top Piece Cad Models

Changing Places,MIT Media Lab,SproutsIO — collaborator @ 3:34 pm

This past week, I’ve been working on the piece that will fit on the top of the entire system and have lights for the top tier and hold a reservoir for a gravity fed water system.

Preliminary SproutsIO exhibition space designs

Changing Places,MIT Media Lab,SproutsIO — collaborator @ 6:05 pm

Hello there. My name is Abdi and I recently joined the SproutsIO team. Since all other aspects of the project (construction, app development, user testing, etc.) are being taken care of, my primary responsibility is to design and install the SproutsIO exhibition that will be held in the later half of April for Member Week.

Elements of the setup will include at minimum:

  • a platform for SproutsIO
  • a backdrop to convey mood
  • exhibition lighting
  • vinyl cutout decals

Below are my preliminary designs for the setup, along with the space that I am charged to work with:

Aside for being simply a visual installation, the exhibit might include some informational elements in the future. One attractive idea is to have an iPad on a pedestal near SproutsIO so that visitors could see the process and data attributed to the project.

SproutsIO app bug fixes and UI updates

Changing Places,MIT Media Lab,SproutsIO — collaborator @ 6:18 am

Hi, I’m Alex, and I’m the newest UROPer to the SeedPod team. Zara’s got a lot on her plate this semester, so I’ll be taking over development of the SeedPod Android app for. Zara’s done a great job with the visual elements of the app, so I’ll be spending most of my time working on the application logic, specifically concerning the following:

  • syncing data and settings with the SeedPod server (Blake and I will be working closely on this)
  • showing graphs of sensor data
  • making the app more compatible with the wide world of android devices
  • communication with the SeedPod Mini (via NFC… should be fun)

I’ll also be making various bug fixes and UI enhancements throughout the app. Changes so far are:

  • creation of custom views to show tower and tier status, to enhance modularity
  • transition to a fragment-based layout to make it easier to support tablets
  • addition of a database for caching data, and classes to abstract it away
  • creation of a skeleton for a service to sync data with the server
  • simplification and consolidation of layouts
  • various UI modifications
Here are some pictures of the current state of the app:


SproutsIO: Tier Connector, System Assembly

Changing Places,MIT Media Lab,SproutsIO — Jennifer Broutin @ 7:13 pm

Through some trials and tribulations in 3D printing, a few versions were tested (including an acrylic laser cut connector).  Ultimately this is the design direction it is going in…

We began assembling the system which was very exciting!  It is really wonderful to see all of the parts coming together…

SproutsIO: Pod Lid first model

Changing Places,MIT Media Lab,SproutsIO — collaborator @ 5:07 pm

Over the weekend, we made a model/sketch of the pod lids. Then we cut out pieces of spare acrylic and made a first model. Unfortunately, there were some dimensions that were off, so we’ll have to edit the sketch files and then make another one. However, the basic form factor is good and will work well.

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