Perhaps, you’re circle of friends is getting too small. Or maybe, you just want to communicate with the leafy, green beings that have rooted themselves in the soil inside your house. If so, this environmental monitoring system will be perfect for you!
Created by [Dickson], this project monitors soil moisture, air temperature, and air humidity of your indoor plants and will alert you via email and SMS when your plants are thirsty. No longer will your sprouts shrivel up in the sun, but rather, they will be well-hydrated ready to produce their veggie goodness.
The system is battery operated, wireless, Arduino and Raspberry Pi based and comes with an Android app, which in turn allows you to view real-time and historical data, thus giving you the option to check in on your crew of Chlorophyll-embedded friends.
Let’s look at the sensors which are at work on the project.
The sensors that make up this system are arranged in a set-sequence of monitoring nodes. For example, [Dickson] uses a Moteino (a low,power Arduino clone with an RF transceiver), a soil moisture sensor, a humidity sensor, a temperature sensor and a battery meter. The main sensor node collects the data and transmits it via the transceiver over the 915mhz ISM band to the base station. From there, the base station houses another Moteino, which acts as a gateway to receive the RF signals, and a Raspberry Pi where the data is stored in a MySQL database and feeds the information to the Plant Friends mobile app.
[Dickson]’s goal with this project is to release it into to the world so other beginners can learn how to develop a similar plant monitoring system as well.
And what makes this idea even better, it that all the components can be placed in cute little custom, bamboo boxes giving you a greater sense that your group of friends has gotten even bigger.
For more information about the project and to see more adorable photos, be sure to check out [Dickson]’s how-to-tutorial on his main site. Full instructions are also located in the first link posted above.
Another hack that is worth checking out is this rain barrel irrigation system keeps your outdoor plants fed when you’re too busy, which was covered by us in 2012.
12 thoughts on “Hey There Little Plant. Let’s Be Friends!”
“Perhaps, you’re circle of friends is getting too small.”
These are adorable. Good job on taking something functional and making it attractive too.
I’m 12 Years Old and What is This?
Is it just me, or do all of the plants in the photo appear rather sickly? Yellow, faded leaves?
You are right, so he had a reason for his creation. i’m curious to see how they will look like in a few weeks :)
4.5 months is a pitiful battery life for this kind of thing. What’s worse is he didn’t say if that was with AAA or AA batteries.
Looks like some uses AAA, some AA if you noticed the photo.
Exactly my point, was it AA or AAA that had the 4.5 month battery life?
On his website with bigger pictures: http://dicksonchow.com/projects/plantfriends/poster_04_01.jpg
Part of that lack of lifetime is probably due to the self drainage of the Energizers AA *rechargeable* batteries.
From SParkfun …
Electric Imp $30
April Breakout Board: $14
Humidity and Temperature Sensor – RHT03: $10
Soil moisture sensor: ??
Imp sends data to website, email, SMS, etc.
I wonder how much all of his stuff costs?
“Must be blood! Must be fresh!”
This video is awesome!
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