Hackaday Prize Entry: A Portable Environmental Monitor

There are a lot of environmental monitors in the running for this year’s Hackaday Prize. Whether they’re soil moisture sensors for gardens or ultraviolet sensors for the beach, the entrants for The Hackaday Prize seem to grasp the inevitable truth that you need information about the environment before doing anything about the environment.

But what about sharing that information? Wouldn’t it be handy if there were an online repository where you could look up environmental conditions of any location on the planet? That’s where [radu.motisan]’s Portable Environmental Monitor comes in. It’s a small, pocketable device that measures just about everything and uploads that data to the Internet.

This project is a continuation of [radu]’s entry for The Hackaday Prize last year, the Global Radiation Monitoring Network. This was more than just a Geiger tube connected to the Internet; [radu] has a global network of Geiger counters displaying counts per minute on a nifty live map.

[radu]’s latest project expands on the capabilities of the Global Radiation Monitoring Network with more sensors and portability. Inside the Environmental Monitor are enough sensors to look at Alpha, Beta and Gamma radiation, dust and toxic gas, and other types of pollution. With the addition of an ESP8266 WiFi module, this portable device can upload sensor readings to the Internet, greatly expanding [radu]’s uRADMonitor network.

The 2015 Hackaday Prize is sponsored by:

Move Over Humans and Things, Flowers Now On The ‘Net

Tweeting Poppy Plants

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.

Tweeting Poppy PlantsA 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.

Continue reading “Move Over Humans and Things, Flowers Now On The ‘Net”

Environmental monitoring

[Daniel Klien] sent me his thermd environmental monitoring project. It’s written in perl, but the cool part is the sheer number of supported devices. It’s pretty rare when a single developer is given test hardware so he can add support for it.

Sure, this isn’t a hardware hack, but temperature logging is one of those irritating problems of hardware hacking. I’ve got loads of uses for it – coffee roasting, house management, battery charging, monitoring for my EV motorcycle project.