Researchers at KU Leuven have developed a module that enables them to map the health of trees online. This so-called Internet of Trees is currently running in the cities of Ghent, Sint-Niklaas, and Beveren-Waas.
As with other iot applications, the Internet of Trees includes a number of smart modules that constantly exchange data via the internet. By monitoring a number of specific parameters, such as the temperature of the sap flow and the movement of the tree, an image can be formed of the health of the tree. “The sensor module can provide useful information for the management of the trees in a city or park,” says researcher Stijn Wielandt of Technology Campus Ghent, which is part of the KU Leuven.
The researchers aim not only at cities or managers of parks but also at private individuals. “We have deliberately kept the module very simple, and anyone who has eaten a little bit of cheese from technology and programming can get to work”, explains colleague researcher Bart Thoen. The monitor consists of a few sensors, a waterproof casing, a rubber band to attach the whole to the tree and a qr code to register the tree online. The device is powered by two AA batteries. If you are interested in an IoTree module, you can contact DNDLab , the maker’s lab of the Technology Campus Ghent. A module costs about forty euros.
The whole system is open source. As a result, according to the developers, the module also has a lot of potential in other areas. “You can also construct and program the sensor module in such a way that you can check from a distance whether the water tank in your garden is full”, explains Wielandt. “If you are waiting for a letter or package, program the sensor so that you receive a notification as soon as something falls in your mailbox.”