hello world,

it was one year ago that i have published the plant pot - world's first stand alone smart plant pot that can email you when it's thirsty, cold, hot, sleeping etc.

a lot has changed since the first release. today I would like to share with you our latest and most stable version yet.

the plant pot is still,

open source hardware + software

solder-free, suitable for any age group

an all around educational tool

once completed the end user will know how to build circuits, write code and end up with a finished device that can teach you how to garden. no prior electronics or gardening experience needed.!!


here is a list of what we will be using;

wifi microcontroller

battery pack


RGB led module

temperature/humidity module

light sensor

water sensor

jumper wires



let's build..>

kits are now available on ebay, including the frame + all electronics. comment or message here or on facebook for more info

Step 1: Glue the frame

download the laser cut frame here; https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8bvYGugxvFFaVFjT...

download 3D printed covers here; https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8bvYGugxvFFbHJXT...

ponoko online laser: http://www.ponoko.com/design-your-own/products/pot...


the assembly is very straight forward. hot glue one piece at a time, making sure all your joints are water sealed to protect the electronics


don't forget to place the magnets for the door

<p>Could you upload the 3D covers template in .stl instead of .skp form? </p>
<p>here you go, please share your work with pictures.!!</p>
<p>i wrote on Facebook if my teacher accept this project i'll start. thx for everything.</p>
<p>My sensor readings don't make any sense, </p><p>Temp: 1023<br>Light: 877<br>Water: 876<br><br>I don't know what units any of these are in, I'd like to be able to see Temp in C. Anyone know what units these sensors are in?</p>
<p>hello Ross, numbers you are seeing are raw readings, limited to 0-1023. 0 being most dry/cold/dark and 1023 being the most wet/hot/light (or vice versa). </p><p>.</p><p> if you look at this article; <a href="https://learn.adafruit.com/tmp36-temperature-sensor/using-a-temp-sensor"> https://learn.adafruit.com/tmp36-temperature-sens...</a> you can see an example of how to convert this data into C or F or basically anything that you want. even a 0-100% &quot; float temperatureF = (temperatureC * 9.0 / 5.0) + 32.0; &quot;</p><p>.</p><p> that being sad, i'm glad to hear that you have successfully connected your components. congrats.!! the reason why the temp is saying 1023 is that because it is actually a digital sensor. you can connect it to a Digital pin on microcontroller and actually get both temp/humid reading from it, both in C and F in a different way. the code needs to be adjusted; <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-interface-Humidity-and-Temperature-DTH11-Se/"> https://learn.adafruit.com/tmp36-temperature-sens...</a><br></p>
<p>I followed the guide and downloaded the DHT.zip library as well changed my data wire to use SCL/PIN 3 (according to this diagram: http://7fvk57.com1.z0.glb.clouddn.com/pinouts-txt.... now all I get for Temp / Humidity is 0.0 not sure what I did wrong or what port to use? <br><br>Here is my code: https://github.com/devfunkd/arduino_lab/blob/master/sketch_apr01a/sketch_apr01a.ino</p>
<p>Any help @<a href="http://www.instructables.com/member/Akin%20Yildiz" rel="nofollow">Akin Yildiz</a>?</p>
<p>your shared links are not accessible..</p>
<p>try changing lines</p><p>120 - Serial.println(DHT.humidity, 1);</p><p>to</p><p>Serial.println(DHT.humidity, 3);</p><p>122 - Serial.println(DHT.temperature, 1);</p><p>to</p><p>Serial.println(DHT.temperature, 3); <br>.<br>in the beginning of the sketch, you defined pin 3. also you can delete all the analog temp read lines as well</p>
Hi Akin,<br><br>Im on my way in doing this project but I couldnt find the microcontroller that you used. Instead I found something else but not sure if it will work. Its the WiFi Serial Transceiver Module w/ ESP8266. So im wondering if you could tell me if this module can act as same as your microcontroller and if the programmings are the same.<br><br>Thanks :)
<p>hello,<br>the microcontroller i use already has esp8266 onboard, ready to use. you can't just plug&amp;play program esps. you will need usb UART cable and esp board module for consistent power requirements. the microcontroller i use above is the cheapest way to go at the moment, or you can take a look at this board; <a href="http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2050601.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.H0.Xnodemcu+1.0.TRS2&_nkw=nodemcu+1.0&_sacat=0">http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&amp;_trksid=p...</a><br>however wiring and code will have to be adjusted</p>
<p>very nice work.like it. i think i can make it for my project.but i would like to use ordinary microcontroller instead of wifi-microcontroller. thanks a lot.........</p>
<p>great, give it a try.!!<br>.<br>have you seen this; <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/plant-health-monitor/">http://www.instructables.com/id/plant-health-monit...</a> , thank you for your interest.</p>
<p>very nice work.like it. i think i can make it for my project.but i would like to use ordinary microcontroller instead of wifi-microcontroller. thanks a lot.........</p>
<p>what is the wifi module that you used the link isn't found because the seller stoped selling it?</p>
<p>helllo Rodrigo,</p><p>it's not a module, its an actual arduino with built-in wifi, i will check the link but here you can find the board, it's called &quot;cactus micro&quot;</p><p><a href="http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=cactus%20micro&ssPageName=GSTL">http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=cactus%20micro...</a></p><p>it's amazing.!!</p>
<p>Can you tell me wehre i have to put the light Sensor? Cant See where u glue it</p>
<p>top left above the computer, just make sure it can see outside for light.!</p>
<p>Too elegant, loved the design and idea.Thanks for sharing this awesome project</p>
<p>you are welcome, thank you for your interest Ravi.!!</p>
<p>Is it possible to do a terrarium version of this?</p>
<p>yes it is possible. but terrariums require barely any temp and water, in most cases. so all these sensors would be useless.<br>.<br>however a nice light to illuminate the plants for better display might be a more interesting solution in your case. what exactly did you have in mind.? i make custom lights for terrariums and can mail you a usb powered light kit. are you in us.?</p>
<p>Hi Akin,</p><p>Do you have a drawing showing the dimensions for the frame? I could get these parts water jet cut. I would be happy to share an engineering drawing for the assembly and a dxf file for anyone who wants to get the parts profile cut.</p>
<p>well if you open this file with a vector drawing software (coreldraw, adobe illustrator etc.) you should be able to see the dimensions exactly. not sure if this is what you need. you can also send this file to ponoko.com and get it cut&amp;shipped online.!</p><p><a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8bvYGugxvFFaVFjT0hzMk9FMUE/view">https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8bvYGugxvFFaVFjT...</a></p>
I contacted ponoko and sent them the above file. They came back that it wasn't uploadable. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
<p>hello,</p><p>sorry about that, i updated the link above as well. check this out;</p><p><a href="http://www.ponoko.com/design-your-own/products/pot1-12971#">http://www.ponoko.com/design-your-own/products/pot...</a></p><p>it is $30 with shipping just for the frame from them. however we are now offering full kits including frame+all electronics for $35. are you living in usa.?</p>
Hi Akin, Yes we are in the USA. On what site are you selling the kits? My son loves to build and tinker and with your step by step instructions I thought I might be able to keep up with him. Put in a catcus, orchid or a Venus fly trap that doesnt grow to big to fast. Thank you.
<p>please private message or contact on <a href="http://www.facebook.com/theplantdoctor2014">www.facebook.com/theplantdoctor2014</a><br>thank you for your interest.</p>
<p>Hi Akin,</p><p>I followed the same circuit using the Cactus Micro Rev. 2 but I am not getting any data into my Thingspeak account. Did you have to re-flash the Cactus Micro Rev. 2 board or just used it out of the box after installing the connecting headers to it?</p><p>Also, can you explain why did you use these pins in the code using Cactus Micro Rev. 2?</p><p>#define _rxpin 11</p><p>#define _txpin 12</p>
<p>cactus micro uses pins 11, 12 to communicate with the onboard wifi chip (esp8266) that is why we define rx/tx as 11 and 12. they are hard wired. and pin 13 turn on/off the chip. no reflashing needed but a code change may be required, try this: https://github.com/volca/cactus_micro_trial/blob/dev/pot1/pot1.ino dont forget to change your SSID, password and thingspeak API key (must create an account).</p>
<p>hey please provide me with the code for aurduino UNO.</p><p>other wise i like all the design and its utility. very very useful really.</p><p>i really like ur views </p>
<p>hello brophet,</p><p>the code is shared under step 5: wiring + code. here is a direct link; <a href="https://docs.google.com/document/d/1lRsfeW--4nI_4O1DAarD6gVzO_WRc3k1jziwdGgixcg/edit?usp=sharing" rel="nofollow"> https://docs.google.com/document/d/1lRsfeW--4nI_4...</a></p><p>thank you for your interest.!!</p>
<p>is the code same for aurduino ide and aurduino UNO?</p>
<p>arduino ide is the name for the software on your computer. all arduinos (uno, nano, mini etc.) use arduino ide to program. </p><p>BUT arduino uno does not have wifi connection. in this instructable i'm using a board called cactus micro, which does have on board wifi for only $10; <a href="http://www.ebay.com/itm/Cactus-Micro-Rev2-Arduino-compatible-plus-esp8266-/261993232744?hash=item3d00037968" rel="nofollow">http://www.ebay.com/itm/Cactus-Micro-Rev2-Arduino-...</a></p><p>if you want to just use arduino uno and not worry about the wifi, then use <strong>this</strong> code; <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/plant-health-monitor/" rel="nofollow">http://www.instructables.com/id/plant-health-monit..</a></p><p>.</p><p>let me know if you figure it out.</p>
if I use aurduino UNO, how can I get the emails?
<p>hello mkp2,</p><p>arduino uno does not have internet capability. you have to purchase a wifi; <a href="http://www.ebay.com/itm/CC3000-WiFi-Shield-for-Arduino-UNO-R3-MEGA2560-SimpleLink-smartConfig-with-SD-/262044169475?hash=item3d030cb503" rel="nofollow">http://www.ebay.com/itm/CC3000-WiFi-Shield-for-Ard...</a> OR ethernet shield; <a href="http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ethernet-Shield-W5100-Network-Expansion-Board-For-Arduino-UNO-R3-Mega-2560-/321495097749?hash=item4ada99e195" rel="nofollow">http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ethernet-Shield-W5100-Netw...</a></p><p>OR you can just purchase an arduino with built in wifi, this is what I use and is the chepaest, best option; <a href="http://www.ebay.com/itm/Cactus-Micro-Rev2-Arduino-compatible-plus-esp8266-/252075103475?hash=item3ab0d8d4f3" rel="nofollow">http://www.ebay.com/itm/Cactus-Micro-Rev2-Arduino-...</a></p><p>thank you for your interest</p>
Hi,<br><br>Maybe I missed this but can you explain how does the 'email system' works? All i saw in the code was an IP but not much of ab explanation if whats going on.
hello netrix,<br>the data is sent to thingspeak.com (free data plotting webapp) and when an alarm is triggered it sends out a tweet. and you get an email. anyone that is following that twitter account will get an email. you can learn more on the code upload step, more info
Got it. Thanks for the explanation. <br><br>I'll probably try to do a similar project in the next few weeks so I'll post back with the results hopefully soon.
<p>Akin, I'm wondering if there's a single source for all those parts. Seems to me that shipping will quadruple (at least) the cost of the project. I'd like to make this one.</p>
<p>hello jayeltee,</p><p>including everything, even soil &amp; seeds, the project cost is $19.82 for local only and $27.97 for wifi version. here you can see detailed breakdown with links to each component; <a href="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1P0edALHrZ5CEm5o8gCu22UiKFYDS3KBOjkWSOzoU3J0/edit?usp=sharing" rel="nofollow">https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1P0edALHrZ5...</a> almost all the parts are shipping free on ebay.</p><p>.</p><p>but i am working on putting together kits and also trying to find a single source supplier to provide these kits.. will keep you updated. this would be the best solution.</p>
<p>Thanks, Akin. I have it all now.</p>
<p>great ,,,, idea i will try it.... thanks .. for giving unique ideas..... best of luck.. </p>
<p>thank you for your interest.!!</p>
<p>what if you used a thermoelectric cooler / peltier plate to heat and cool the soil depending on current temperature? With a water pump also and a matrix of LEDs to give light to the plant, it could be 100% automated.</p>
<p>hello Sida,</p><p>you should check out the remaining members of plant doctor family;</p><p><a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Life-Box-V10/" rel="nofollow">http://www.instructables.com/id/the-Plant-Doctor-f...</a></p><p>plant box can do just this</p><p>thank you for your interest.</p>
<p>Nice build and well documented. One concern, you are placing all electronics + a Li-on battery below water level. In time that silicone might (will) dry/deform and might start to leak. If water short circuits that battery it might explode/start a fire. So a tip for the next version, put all electronics in a separate control box or above water level. Perhaps produce cheap pots with only sensors, attiny85 with sleepmode, cheap nRF24L01 transmitters and the whole pot could run on a small solarpanel and pot price would be around 15 dollars (excl. acrylic) The controlbox could then act as a host and display info about all pots (most people have many pots).</p><p>Perhaps skipping the wifi, adding a lcd for the controlbox and some leds is enough to share information/alert user and control settings while keeping price low. Just brainstorming, not critique! Good luck with everything!</p>
<p>improve idea: </p><p>-use a pump with water tank </p><p>-use external power</p><p>-add a command light when we do not have enought</p>

About This Instructable




Bio: the Plant Doctor is a non-profit, open source online research laboratory specializing in electronics+plants. Our vision is to bring together nature and technology in ... More »
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