Fytó Is Fido For Phytophiles

On the surface, most plants really aren’t all that exciting, save for maybe the Venus flytrap. Sure, you can watch them grow in the long run, but for the most part, they’re just kind of there, quietly bringing peace and cleaner air. Day by day, they hardly move at all, although if you’re one of those people who likes to get the Sim into the pool and take the ladder away, you could always play the drought game just to watch it droop and come back to life a half hour later.

Fytó the smart planter is a much more cool and far less cruel way of spicing up your plant life. The idea is to turn a plant into a pet by giving it an expressive face. Sure, plants have needs, but they communicate them more subtly than the average Earthing. By assigning animated emoji to various conditions, the plant becomes more familiar and in turn, feels more like a pet. Plus, the whole thing is just so darn cute.

Fytó runs on a Raspberry Pi 2W and has six emotions that are based on a capacitive soil moisture sensor, an LM35 temperature sensor, and an LDR module to detect light levels. If everything is copacetic, Fytó puts on a happy face, and will lick its lips after getting a drink of water. If the light is insufficient, Fytó looks sleepy; if the plant needs water, Fytó appears sweaty, red-faced, and parched. Don’t conflate this with the temperature-taking emoji, which indicates that Fytó is too hot. Finally, if the spot is too drafty and cold, Fytó looks like it’s nearly frozen. Be sure to check out the video after the break and watch Fytó work through their range of emotions.

Would you rather hear your plant complain in English? There’s a build for that.


5 thoughts on “Fytó Is Fido For Phytophiles

  1. >Fytó runs on a Raspberry Pi 2W

    It uses a Pi *Zero* 2W, the Pi 2 didn’t get a W version.

    I’m not so sure about having the LDR on the side of the pot, isn’t that potentially going to miss most of the light hitting the plant, depending on angle?

    I bought a plant sensor recently and it doesn’t work well. DIY things like this are tempting to try…

  2. You know you´re doomed when your ecosystem is destroyed, and your parents raised you with an 1diotic app or electronic contraption like this one for plants. Kawai is often the enemy of common sense, like the author.

    1. Monitoring plant temperature / light / humidity is really really useful if you’re growing vegetables :) I’m monitoring the condition of my tomatoes and chili plants in a similar (though not so cute) way. My vegetable plot is a 5 minute walk from where I live (an allotment, rather than my garden). I can see on a Grafana dashboard when the most optimal time is to walk over and water them during the working day. It does make an appreciable difference to how much food I yield.

      These kinds of “kawaii” projects are an EXCELLENT introduction to the kind of technology which supports sustainable agriculture, in a way that’s accessible to laypeople and kids.

      In the project they touch on:
      – 3D printing
      – Common microcontrollers and sensors you can use
      – Simple electronics and soldering
      – Software and writing code
      – Power supplies
      – The optimal temperature / humidity / light window for that houseplant

      What would you rather be doing, complaining on the internet that this is somehow making the world worse, or going and making something, learning some practical skills and feeling happier with yourself in the process? :D

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