What are the coolest Rachio applications?

I’m new to Rachio – I am in the process of starting my yard and last week I finally set up my first irrigation zone with Rachio.

What are some of the coolest ways to use Rachio?
Have you created a creative integration? I’d love to learn and get inspired.

I have mine integrated with Smartthings, but don’t really use it much. I’ve played with a few motion sensor automations for the neighbors dog that kept using my lawn as a bathroom (and not picking up), but that was about it. Rachio itself is so incredible, there is really no reason to intervene with an integration.

That being said, I suppose there would be some use for using my door sensors to stop a lawn watering if I were to let the dogs out. Problem being, you have limited control thru the API integrations, so I’m not sure if you could delay watering, or if it would just cancel the watering completely.

Thank you, @tmcgahey,
The one integration I would love to figure out is a successful way to have my sprinklers turn on when a non-human critter is detected. I have deer, jackrabbits, wild turkey, all of which cause damage to the garden. I haven’t yet found an easy way to get this done, not even though IFTTT.

Most of the motion sensors and cameras aren’t advanced enough to differentiate motion. It is getting better, but still not quite there…


I have integrated my Rachio controller with a SmartThings Hub, Zooz outdoor motion detectors and IFTTT to keep the deer from eating my rose buds just before they bloom. I had been using automation through SmartThings but Samsung and Rachio changed some things over the winter and I was never able to get Rachio and SmartThings to work together right so I gave up and used IFTTT. Once my hub detects motion, I use IFTTT to trigger a specific irrigation zone through Rachio. It took a little bit of extra work but I was able to figure out how to limit activation to between 8 pm and 7 am. Now I have lots of beautiful roses and no deer.

I came across a guy the other day that was using a camera with a Rasberry Pi and Amazon Rekognition to detect objects in the camera’s field of view. This method uses image recognition to determine what the object is and allows you to decide if you want to run a specific zone. The problems I had with it were that I think it is probably waaaaaay over my head to set up and Amazon Rekognition is not free. I think the cost is something like $1 per 1,000 images up to 1 million images then the cost per thousand images starts to decline. Based on the stuff I saw you could tell the difference between humans and animals. There are some animals like dogs where Amazon has really good data and it can even determine the breed of the dog. If you want to find out more information I came across it somewhere in the Rachio community. The guy’s user name is jrjenkinsiv. If it works really well maybe it is something that should be packaged and sold. This seems to be a very common problem and spraying with water seems to be a very good deterrent.

@jjyahoo - Thank you for the response. I saw that post but the level of integration is quite beyond my capabilities too.
I am curious about your IFTTT integration. I have Nest cameras but so far I found only how to trigger the sprinklers with movement. How did you add the time restrictions so they activation is limited only between 8pm and 7am?