As mentioned a little while ago, I am working on a project that will automate many environmental control and monitoring functions with your formicaria.
The finished product will of course be an AntKit product, but this project will be different. The entire product will be open source so anyone wanting to build their own, modify, develop further etc will be able to do so freely without restriction. The schematics, drawings, software and source code will be published on product completion.
The current confirmed hardware features are as follows:
1 x OLED Screen
2 x DS18B20 Temperature Probe inputs
2 x AM2302 Temperature / Humidity Probe inputs
2 x 2AMP Solid State Relay Outputs (Presenting as either 2 x UK/EU/USA Power Sockets, or 2 x PTC 12v Heating Element Connectors)
1 x Mechanical General Purpose Relay Output (For lights, cooling fans, etc)
1 x Peristaltic Pump Module (For refilling water reservoirs with a specific quantity of water etc)
1 x Nest resistivity sensor (To determine how dry a soil or Ytong nest is)
1 x USB Port (For PC connection)
1 x SPI LED Strip Output
This controller will allow you to fully automate your ant setup.
It will refill your reservoirs, set night and day temperatures, control misters and fans, control most commercial heat mats and cables, set day / night brightness levels for lights including the colour (eg. white in the day, red at night) and so much more. It will present a wide range of information (including the species name, in case you forget!) on the build in OLED display.
The system will be modular so you can add or remove functions as required.
The USB port will allow you to download profiles, read logs, update firmware and potentially connect to the internet for remote control.
For those that like to tinker, the software will be made to be easy to tweak and modify so you may repurpose it to control your greenhouse or fish tank if you so wanted to.
I should have some preliminary pictures / videos in the next few days once I have made the massive jumble of circuits, wires and sensors a little more presentable
I estimate the first units would be ready for testing in the next 4-6 weeks with a couple of free units for selected forum members to have a play with and give feedback (the selection process will be announced in due course).
Retail price? No idea at the moment but the basic setup including sensors would be somewhat less than £50.
Thoughts, feedback, ideas and feature requests all gratefully received.