This seat for plants measures the moisture level of the plant’s soil. When the level drops too low, a teensy turns on a peristaltic pump, which in turn supplies more water for the plant, via wikiseat.
The legs of the seat are from an apple tree that grows in the yard of the house where I live. This serves as the structure for the seat, and the magic happens in the electronics. There is an a Teensy board (derived from the Ardunio) that seres as the brain for this seat. A moisture sensor lets the brain know the current moisture content in the soil. Water conducts electricity, and this can be measured by the moisture sensor.
Over time, as the moisture evaporates from the soil, or is taken on by the plant, the soil becomes less conductive, and this can be measured. When the soil reaches a certain conductivity level (or level of dryness) the Teensy board turns on a peristaltic pump (from Adafruit Industries), which squeezes water through a tube. This pump can suck water from a lower level, forcing it upwards against gravity, and into the plant’s pot.
As with any electronics project, there is some really complicated stuff going on here. But at the same time, we live in an age where we truly are standing on the shoulders of giants, and much of the wisdom in the world is freely accessible online or at your local hackerspace. Most everything that Adafruit has comes with detailed instructions. Think of it as a larger, more advanced LEGO kit.
Featured Adafruit Products!
Peristaltic Liquid Pump with Silicone Tubing: Move fluid safely from here to there with this very nice little pump. Unlike most liquid pumps, this is a peristaltic type – the pump squishes the silicone tubing that contains the liquid instead of impelling it directly. The upshot? The pump never touches the fluid which makes this an excellent choice for any food/drink/sterile based pumping such as for making drink-bots or gardening robots! Read More!