The ‘Internet of Flowers’ is upon us thanks to an artist named [Adrian]. He has designed a project that not only monitors the growth of Poppy Flowers but also monitors the soil, air and surrounding activity.
The entire project is based on a Raspberry Pi mounted in a purpose-built enclosure made from laser cut birch plywood. The enclosure is mounted in a window of an adjacent building that has a view of the flower bed. An internally mounted camera was carefully aligned so its field of view was mostly of the plants and would limit taking photos of unknowing passersby. The camera takes a snap shot every 5 minutes, see the time lapse video below.
A box containing sensors is installed in the flower bed. The intent of this project was not to have the Raspberry Pi spit out hard factual data regarding soil moistness, temperature and ambient noise, but to instead take that data from the sensors and send out a story-like narrative that makes the communication feel more personal. To receive these comments from the poppies, you can follow them on Twitter: @tweetingpoppy.
One challenge [Adrian] had to overcome was that the sensor box did not have access to electricity or direct wiring to the Raspberry Pi. A battery is installed in the box and powers a RFM12B wireless transceiver to send the data to another RFM12B connected to the Rasberry Pi. The RFM12B is low cost and has a low power consumption rate.
The website mypoppy.co.uk is dedicated to the project. Here you can find live camera shots of the flowers and status updates.