To see how our project works, we created prototypes with foam board and cardboard, and they consist of the following parts:
Food Station- With a load cell attached to the bottom, the food station is the input of the IoT system. It can not only act as a location where people re-distribute excess food but also measure the weight of the "potential" food waste so that people can visually see how much surplus food is generated and can be avoided.
Food Switch- The input of the IoT system. A switch located on the food station which is connected to the cloud with Particle Argon. When the switch is turned on, as an indicator of food available, it signals to light up the light bulbs on the food map. Each switch at a location is connected to the light bulbs on a specific site, representing the food availability of that location.
Food Waste Meter- The output of the IoT system. Connected to the load cell, the meter shows the load of the food on the food station, visualizing the increase and decrease of the food resource to highlight the issue of food waste as well as the contribution of individuals.
Food Map- With several light bulbs pinned to the selected spots with the food station, the food map is the output of the IoT system. Connected to the food switch, the light bulbs turn on and off according to the signal sent by the switch ("food here" to on and "I took the last piece" to off). This output plays the role of providing and spreading information about food availability to people within the community.
Toggle switch *3
Particle Argon *3
Load cell *3
Micro servo *3
To sum up, we used 3 Particle Argons for the 3 sites of selection on campus (Tepper Business School, Gates Computer Science Department, and Cohon University Center). Each Particle Argon connected 3 light bulbs(representing 3 locations), 1 micro servo(to control the meter), 1 load cell(to measure the weight of food), and 1 toggle switch(receive signals from people providing and taking the last portion of food).
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