Project Summary: Incufrige

The incufridge is a combination of an incubator and a fridge, which can heat and cool from 5 to 60 degrees Celsius. The goal of the incufridge project is to provide a device which can, over long or short intervals of time, define and redefine the temperature of a closed system on its own without having a human physically there to press the buttons on the machine. An experiment can be programmed (for example changing the temperature to simulate day and night cycles) by the user, and uploaded to a website, and the incufridge will run it, without the user ever needing to be in the same room. To do this, we have a multi-layered system of control. At the lowest level, an arduino (a small microcomputer) has been attached to the internal circuits of the incufridge. This allows the arduino to send electrical signals which the incufridge interprets as instructions to change the temperature. However, the arduino is not powerful enough to be able to save files and access the internet. To handle these tasks, a small computer is placed next to the fridge and is connected to the arduino. This small computer can send data to and receive data from the arduino, and it can also access the internet and store log files. Whenever a user writes and uploads a set of instructions to the website, this computer will check and download the new files, and send the commands to the arduino.

Currently, we are planning on changing how the connection between the server and the incufridge will be handled. There will be a direct TCP connection between the human, the server, and the incufridge. This way, the incufridge can be notified of a change immediately instead of having the incufridge check the server every 5-10 minutes to see if there has been a change.

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