Our project is an autonomous Sunflower. As in nature, the highest priority for our flower is sunlight, necessary for photosynthesis. Our Arduino controlled sunflower is constructed using 3D printing and laser cutting technologies. Primarily, our flower finds and follows the brightest source of light. This flower is different than your typical sunflower, because when a person comes close enough, the flower moves its petals to acknowledge their presence. We were able to utilize Shape Memory Alloy (SMA), in the form of a nickel/titanium alloy (Nitinol), to facilitate the opening and closing of the flower's petals. Our goal was to combine technology with a green initiative to create a truly interactive plant.
Here's a link to a short video of the sunflower in action!
Step 1: Prototyping
We used a simple motor driver circuit with an SN754410 H-Bridge to run the motor in this prototype. The motor was powered by a 6-volt lantern battery.
Here's a video of the prototype in action: