P17419: Vermicompost Bin

Problem Definition

Table of Contents

Problem Definition

Current State
  1. Regulates environment for worms
  2. Too small and difficult to process; do not meet output demands
  3. Not moisture monitored

Desired State

  1. Must be larger for a greater colony and longer holdover
  2. Easy to harvest whilst stable and documented
  3. Needs moisture sensor apparatus
  4. Needs educational aspects for montesorri

Project Summary

Vermicompost is a process of using live worms to assist the mixture and decomposition of organic waste to yield vermicast for the purpose of soil treatment and fertilization. A vermicompost bin facilitates this process by maintaining optimum environmental parameters for the living worms; these being humidity, light intensity, and temperature. The current model used by Rochester Roots is small and difficult to manage over extended periods of time.

Link to One page project summary Project summary.docx.

Use Cases

User Case Scenario User Scenario. (click here to download).
 User Case Scenario

User Case Scenario

Project Goals

Project Goals

  1. Meet output demands and dimensional constrants
  2. Feature educational component
  3. Maintain sufficient environmental parameters
  4. Maintain budgeting constraints

Key Deliverable's

  1. Be able to support a large scale composting plan.
  2. Have a moisture sensor that is accurate within +/- 4%.
  3. Must be constructed for an adult to move around with ease.
  4. Run on a 110 VAC output.
  5. Be able to separate castings and cocoons without disrupting the composting cycle.

Customer Requirements (Needs)

Customer Requirements Customer Requirements_JSP. (Click here to download).
 Customer Requirements

Customer Requirements

Inerview questions asked during week 2

  1. How much material do they expect to fit in the bin?
  2. Purpose?
  3. Are their specific safety concerns to keep in mind?
  4. What is the average amount of castings produced in the current vermicompost prototype?
  5. How important is it to have a see through visual for the bin? Can there to be a "cover" to hide the bin until the students want to see what is happening?
  6. Area and Volume of current bins?
  7. How technical does the moisture sensor need to be?
  8. Is data storage necessary?
  9. Are there any specific modes of failure that you have witnessed occurring with previous prototypes or similar projects, that we, as a team, should be aware of to try and fix them for this project

Engineering Requirements (Metrics & Specifications)

Engineering Requirements Engineering Requirements. (Click here to download)
 Engineering Requirements

Engineering Requirements


  1. Weight of the system
  2. Must be able to roll
  3. Must have a way to monitor moisture levels to a certain accuracy and level
  4. Must have a way to remove castings and cocoons without disrupting composting flow.

House of Quality

House of Quality. (click here to download).
 House of Quality

House of Quality

Plans for next phase

At our next review the following will be accomplished:

1st week:

-visit montesorri (1/2 day)

-estimate weight (2 hours)

-visit worm power at Honeoye Falls (1/2 day)

-research vermicompost patents present to group about current systems (2 hours)

2nd week:

-feasibility of DAQ system (1/2 day)

-ask Jan if she is able to spend money on data storage (1/2 day)

-purchase worm grating (1/2 day)

-experiment with worm gratings (1 week)

3rd week:

-Create pugh chart of possible design configurations (1 week)

-determine compost extraction method (1 week)

Individual Three Week Plans

Niall O'Dowd:

visit the montesorri

visit verimgreen at Honeoye Falls

feasibility of DAQ system

work with team to plan compost extraction method

Jay Patel:

Three Week Plan_JSP Three Week Plan. (click here to download).

Steven Lalowski:

begin research on housing material cost

visit the montesorri

visit worm power at Honeoye Falls

research feasibility of polarized viewing window

Home | Planning & Execution | Imagine RIT

Problem Definition | Systems Design | Preliminary Detailed Design | Detailed Design

Build & Test Prep | Subsystem Build & Test | Integrated System Build & Test | Integrated System Build & Test with Customer Demo | Customer Handoff & Final Project Documentation