I have recently moved to the state of Colorado to research smart plant technology with the Cannabis plant.. This post will teach you how to automate your garden but is mainly an update on the overall research, box2 specifically..
Last three years I have been working to put together an educational wifi smart plant kit simple enough to teach anyone with no previous experience how to program and build circuits, ready to use out of the box. No special equipment needed. Just a laptop, wifi and soil :)
To bring more attention to the project, I have decided to move the operation headquarters to a state where cultivation of cannabis plant is legal.
Our kits are solder free, plug and play so any age group can access it. It is also copy & paste programming ready, which means you don't need any background in either of the fields to build a functioning electronic device. You learn by making and reverse engineering the technology. Editable open ended technology, yours to customize if needed.
you will need;
1x RGB led
1x light sensor
1x water sensor
12x jumper wires
thePlantDoctor is an open source smart plant research community. Our devices can alarm end user on the phone/tablet and by changing colors when thirsty, cold, sleeping etc.
Our goal is to bring together nature & technology in a simple, non harmful way. Costing only $20 and a weekend to build. Same technology in this post can be implemented in a greenhouse or smart home automation project.
This post is for educational purposes only, please beware of your state laws before starting a garden.!!
Step 1: History
It all started with the plant health monitor. I just wanted to put together a simple device that could check for temperature, humidity, light and soil levels. basically all the things a plant needs.
A device that can offer a second hand in the garden, while collecting valuable data for the more advanced user.
Then the whole idea of smart plant devices came about, the plant doctor family. Different devices for different gardening scenarios. From a single stand alone smart plant pot to a more advanced indoor automated grow boxes or mobile plant sticks
Step 2: Frame/Design
Design files for pot2 can be found here
The box2 currently is in protoyping stage, you can see more finished 3D designs with the sketchup file included. Basically I want the entire frame like a puzzle piece, where everything locks into place and I can ship it in pieces.
My first harvest was in soil, i am not currently installing the hydro setup and will make an updated post, follow my channel to stay in the loop.!!
A very clean, uninterrupted grow area. White color to maximize light travel/exposure
Step 3: Lights
400W (2x200W) COB full spectrum LED chip. This light is amazing. Very sleek minimalist design, robust and quiet. So far great results. Because the light is very bright and the space is small, I am able to leave it at the same height and instead train the plants to shape.
The light comes ready to use with built in heatsinks, fans and reflectors. It also has an on board outlet to plug things in, which will run even if the light is off. Very useful to connect the box2 air intake fans also to power the arduino board. And now the pump for the hydro setup can all be run thru the light. So the entire grow box actually only needs 1 outlet to run. Huge benefit
Step 4: Electronics
Our devices are all based off of a WiFi arduino board called nodemcu.
Each device houses the same electronics; temperature, humidity, soil and light sensors to collect data
An RGB LED to alarm locally
It can be powered via solar, powerbank or AC
A very simple yet effective device. All the data collected then can be displayed on a smartphone/tablet from anywhere in the world.
Step 5: Hardware + Software
We encourage open source hardware + software. Our goal is to introduce smart plant technology to as many gardens around the world as possible. Which we believe will effect production and efficiency as far as natural resources are concerned in a positive way.
First picture is the wiring diagram and next two you can see in detail how the app looks. And below is our most current code
Step 6: Logo
Our smart logo offers a few unique options
It can change color to locally alarm the end user, blue for water, red for temperature/humidity, yellow for light levels and if all sensors are ok, the light stays green indicating that everything is under control.
Also by scanning the QR code via any smartphone you are directed to the user manual, parts and help site. Basically everything about our organization can be reached and shared via our logo. Everything digital, no paperwork.
On it also displays the Creative Commons license "attribution non-commercial share alike"
Step 7: Cannabis
This plant grows just like any other plant. Our devices do not favor a species over another.. It is simply meant to teach the end user about the future of technology and bring forth a loving relationship towards nature ;)
Here are some pictures from the growth cycle.. The branches were tied down after hitting a certain height, which promoted lots of side growth, basically I trained each plant to act like bunch of mini plants to maximize yield. This technique is called "scrog"
This is a micro grow due to size of the box. Each plant was kept in a 6" pot. Started from seed. Vegetative stage for +30days, flowering stage for 70days.
Step 8: Conclusion
I hope this post will get you excited and make you want to start your own garden. Always feel free to ask questions on the comments or messages. an instructable specifically about Box2 hydroponics update will be posted soon, I will be comparing the speed and yield of soil vs hydro.
With more and more states legalizing cannabis and the world wide awareness of cannabis oil on cancer and other illnesses, smart plant technology will be improving as well. Any device that can keep this plant alive will have a chance in shaping the future of electronics + nature. Backyard farming of food crops are also on the rise, people want to grow their own food. Such devices can greatly reduce time needed in the garden, enabling us to work smart not hard, spending our valuable time with others enjoying..
thank you for your interest. please follow, favorite & share
love & peace