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today I would like to share with you how to make a smart pot system. the cool thing about this system is that it can be attached to any existing plant pot. and requires no previous electrical or gardening experience to use and/or build.!
water sensor demonstration
according to many studies, the number one reason why people fail to grow plants is the irregular, over/under watering. people are busy and tend to forget about their plants, this is where the smart pot system comes in handy.
instead of focusing on just the water requirements, I have decided to include 2 other sensors - light & temperature. now our plant pot can notify the user regarding if it is too cold/hot, not receiving enough sunlight and if it is thirsty.
the system blinks green every 5 seconds to indicate that the plant is alive & healthy. if any of the sensors are reading abnormal activity, then the corresponding colored LED turns on. red for temperature, blue for water and yellow for light.
with the help of the wifi module, the smart pot system can also notify the end user over the internet.
Step 1: Parts & Assembly
the entire project can be done solder-free with the use of female to male jumper cables (non toxic)
power bank (batt. holder + charger)
3mm LEDs (green, blue, yellow, red)
resistors (4x 220ohm 1/4W)
place the power bank and the breadboard on to the plant pot with double sided tape.
place arduino on the breadboard. to turn it on, you can simply plug it in to the powerbank via usb cable provided - you can also add the optional switch here to manually control the operation.
the 3 sensor have built in resistors so you can simply plug them in to the arduino.
plug in sensor positive pin (+) to > 3v3 on arduino
plug in sensor negative pin (-) to > GND on arduino
plug in sensor data cables (3rd pin) to > A0 (temperature) A1 (light) A2 (water) on arduino
plug in the 3mm notification LEDs.
first insert 220ohm resistors to D12, D10, D8 and D5 on arduino and then;
connect the D12 resistor to > blue LED positive leg
connect the D10 resistor to > yellow LED positive leg
connect the D8 resistor to > red LED positive leg
connect the D5 resistor to > green LED positive leg
connect all negative legs of LEDs to > GND on arduino
next we will upload the code and test/adjust the system..>
*notice that I am trying to custom build my own sensory device that contains all 3 sensors within, currently working on 3D printing the outer shell. for more information on how to build one, you can read my in depth post. you can simply leave the light and temperature modules on the breadboard if you don't want to create a sensory device. and just use the jumper cables for the water sensors to reach the soil.!
Step 2: Code + Setup
plug in arduino to the computer via USB.
launch arduino software
upload the code (wait until done uploading)
restart arduino after upload.
your system should now be responding to sensor changes with the corresponding LEDs - there is a ~6 second delay between each system check, and turn the notification LEDs on.
go into the code and change the number values to your housing conditions. if your plant requires less/more water you can easily adjust the values and re-upload the code. you can also see the sensor values on the computer screen real-time which should help you with your own calculations.
just play around with different settings and you will be an expert in no time. you can even make a portable design and carry it around your apartment testing different soils/plants.
Step 3: Conclusion
be extra careful when watering your plant, don't get any of the electronics wet.!
now that you have a smart plant pot, you can upgrade it with LED lights and make a completely independent plant grow system - no sun needed ! you can easily make the entire project water proof by installing it into sealed topperware or a custom built 3D printed body ?!
if you are not familiar with my work, here you can see many other examples of the similar idea in practice.
my goal is to create an army of smart plants, communicating with each other and updating their conditions on the cloud. plants that can take a picture of themselves and update their profiles.
thank you for your time, I hope that you get to build one of these systems yourself. I am working on creating kits for children and create a workshop at my local makerspace. subscribe to get instant updates, and follow us on facebook.!
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love & peace