Tech Talk: Droplet, the smart sprinkler

Almost half of California is considered to be in "exceptional drought" as the state battles it's worst drought in decades. This edition of Tech Talk introduces a new smart sprinkler that could help as we water our plants this summer. 

It's smarter than the Roomba, yet not quite on the same level as R2D2. But it's close. Especially for a sprinkler.

"Our device is all about precision targeting of water. Most irrigation systems, you might end up watering the sidewalk; the fence, the side of the house. That's all gone with Droplet. We can water right up to the edge of where the grass meets the concrete, the driveway or the mailbox. Really, anything," says Steve Fernholz, Droplet Robotics CEO and founder. "The way you set it up, you can draw any arbitrary shape you can think of and we'll water it."

The robotic sprinkler connects to the Internet to learn about the plants its watering: how much H20 they need and when.

"We look at soil data from everyone, from the U.S. Geological Survey to NASA satellites, to determine information like how fast the soil drains water; how much water your soil can hold," says Fernholz.

Not only that, the device actually checks the weather forecast to see if rain is on the way.

"What's unique about Droplet is that we don't necessarily water two or three days a week for a couple minutes at a time. We really do look at the weather data to determine, maybe we don't need to water today, or maybe we only need to water a little bit because it was overcast and there wasn't a lot of evaporation," says Fernholz. 

(I'm just worried it's gonna take my job.)

While the price tag is a little steep, the developers say it could save you as much as $265 on your yearly water bill.  


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