Colorado Patent of the Month – November 2022
Rachio, Inc. is a sustainable product development company focused on creating products that help to optimize water use and reduce needless waste. Inspired by the inefficient irrigation systems throughout the US, Rachio discovered that up to 50% of water used outdoors is wasted. They set out on their journey of efficiency and built a controller that optimizes a home’s water use based on weather, sunshine, and the season.
The company hasn’t stopped there. They continue to innovate, developing solutions to expand access to simple sustainability for people across the country. Recently, they have developed a method for dynamically increasing plant root depth. This helps to support improved irrigation from the ground up.
When consistently over-watered, lawns experience a root zone growth limitation. They begin only growing roots to the minimum depth needed to be sustainable. However, longer roots are more desirable, drought resistant, and can survive with less water further reducing water waste.
This improved root depth is achieved by curating custom watering plans that reduce the water consumption requirements for the nearby plants. The process typically follows a few generic steps, which are adapted as needed for each lawn based on weather, vegetation, and season. First, the root depth of the vegetation is estimated. This then informs the allowed water depletion threshold and a training watering plan. Once implemented, this training plan should provoke an increased root depth. The watering plan is carried out by Rachio’s irrigation control system.
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