Project Title: Analyzing Water Flow over Time to Incentivize Pro-Environmental Behaviors
BASIS Advisor: Mr. Vermouth
Internship Location: Qolsys, Inc.
Onsite Mentor: David Laone
As the precipitous decline in potable water as a vital natural resource threatens the viability of the growing human population, we, as citizens, must be held responsible for amending our own circumstances. The astonishingly high daily water consumption of the average American (approx. 100 gallons) elucidates a striking disparity between the reality of diminishing resources and meaningful awareness of our individual consumption. This Tragedy of the Commons can only be ameliorated by targeted incentivization of pro-environmental behavior in communities. I seek to develop such a platform for crowdsourced change through an interactive, sensor-based web application wherein users can view granular, contextualized information about their own water usage. With help from the hardware team at Qolsys, Inc., I will create an affordable sensor unit that monitors output from water appliances and updates relevant data to the cloud or another central database. I will then display this data in an interactive format to users in a study to investigate the optimal method of conservation incentivization. I expect to find community-based and extrinsic motivation to be most effective, as such a methodology would combine friendly competition and monetary reward to provide the appropriate benefit for the cost of behavior modification.
This was an especially stressful week for me considering final decisions for where we’re headed for college were due. Given that pressure, I wasn’t able to focus on my work as well as I would’ve hoped. I overestimated my ability to work with the anxiety of the next four years of my life depending on […]
Things have actually begun coming together. The Raspberry Pi is somewhat compatible with Firebase, although I have had to switch to a less dynamic database option (Realtime). Therefore, the sensor data can be uploaded directly and consistently to ensure it is sufficiently reliable and up to date. In addition, I managed to switch the input […]
This week, I learned that my decision to truncate the scope of my project was definitely wise. Each of the separate components that I made progress on in the past few days have their own set of roadblocks that inhibit perfect completion. By the end of the SP term, I will be able to provide […]
Unfortunately, due to college visits and completely unwelcome fever symptoms, I was unable to be sufficiently productive this week. Due to the fact that I am significantly running behind in terms of where I need to be, this will prove to be severely detrimental to the overall extensiveness of my project. Therefore, instead of wearing […]
As week 7 drew to a close, I performed some self-analysis, and quickly realized that there is a significant discrepancy between my current state and where I was initially shooting for in terms of my output for the project. The hardware especially will turn out to be the limiting reactant, as I have not fully […]
This week, I found a viable solution to the “hardware problem” (fitting the water flow sensor effectively to showerheads). To do so, I removed the showerhead from my bathroom and journeyed to Lowe’s on Cottle Road, sensor and measuring tape in tow. Once I arrived at the plumbing section of the store, however, I was […]
This week was one for reflection appropriate for a particularly stressful time. With all the different facets of my project advancing at different speeds, I was obliged to make a list of priorities and proceed accordingly. My main priority was making sure that the Raspberry Pi I bought for testing was able to establish a […]
This week, I delved deeper into React, learning about some of the intricacies of database access and authorization through Robin Wieruch’s fantastic Road to Learn React + Firebase books. I was following along perfectly until the learning curve became really steep, and before I knew it, I was knee-deep in my program, tracing methods all […]
I received my flow rate sensor adapter units on Tuesday, and much to my dismay, they were misaligned, and the female end of the sensor-pipe adapter was considerably smaller than the diameter of the shower output. I was obliged to box them up for returns, and immediately gathered the right measurements for reordering on Amazon. […]
Although somewhat uneventful due to the fact that my senior project external advisor was not in the office, I was able to get a considerable amount of work done in the form of hardware preparations and learning some of the necessary front-end knowledge to develop my future app successfully. The first hurdle I realized I […]
For the next twelve weeks, I will be working on an abridged initiative to incentivize water conservation by monitoring consumption using sensors on specific water-intensive appliances. I have broken the project down into three distinct parts: building the hardware, developing a neatly organized front-end, and implementing the product in a study. On the first […]