This project is a part of experiments done while doing an artist in residence at Instructables. You can see the other projects here.
Making a plant sing has been a trick since the Theremin was invented. Here I am going to teach you how to do this with and arduino board, a gameduino
shield and a the touch shield from my previous instructable
A short introduction to capacitance
If two objects are conductive you can measure the capacitance between them (e.g. objects like: metal, water, human bodies and plants). By connecting a capacitance sensor to a plant we can detect if people are touching it and convert the touch into sound. Normally you would do this with a theremin like interface.
With the introduction of the touché frequency principle by Disney Research lab we can now make a really stable solution that can run entirely on the Arduino platform. The Touché works on a similar principle as a normal theremin, but does a frequency sweep instead. By hooking the touché up to the plant we can measure the capacitative interaction and convert it into sound.
The singing plant as an artistic project has been done with multiple people as a member of illutron. I will just credit af few key people who I have worked with: Åsmund Boye Kverneland, Nicolas Padfield, Thomas Jørgensen, Schack Lindemann, Thor Lentz, DZL, Vanessa Carpenter