Set up an Arduino 101 board, Raspberry Pi and TJ Bot to monitor your house plants with this IoT project!
Set up an Arduino 101 board, Raspberry Pi and TJ Bot to monitor your house plants with this IoT project!

 

Plants bring happiness to me. They bring a little piece of nature and greenery right into your home. Sounds good, however sometimes they can also drive you crazy! Are they getting enough sunlight? Do I give them too much water? I don’t know about you but I was not born with a green thumb! Those worries are now a thing of the past when you’ve got the power of the Internet of Things (IoT) and TJ Bot at your disposal.

Follow this developer journey and build a fun plant hack with an Arduino 101 and a Raspberry Pi powered TJ Bot. Program various environmental sensors to measure everything around your green leafed friend and use Watson’s cognitive API’s to bring your TJ Bot to life. No more guesswork while taking care of your plant, you’ll both be happier after this hack!

Set up an Arduino 101 board, Raspberry Pi and TJ Bot to monitor your house plants with this IoT project!

 

Here’s how it works. The Arduino 101 board has a Wi-Fi shield, a grove extension shield and several off-the-shelf sensors connected to it, measuring temperature, soil moisture, light intensity, air pressure (barometer) and air humidity. A Node-RED application collects the sensor data using the MQTT messaging protocol and stores it in a database.

Set up an Arduino 101 board, Raspberry Pi and TJ Bot to monitor your house plants with this IoT project!

 

Using Node-RED (developed by IBM) you can wire hardware devices together and in this solution it works really well. Node-RED is an open source software tool that uses a browser-based flow editor in which you can easily connect flows to create JavaScript functions. We used it to build a dashboard that shows the plant’s status using all the sensor data.

The TJ Bot, powered by a Raspberry Pi, is connected with a camera that recognises the plant. Since every plant needs a different amount of water to grow, the recognition ability allows you to quickly determine what the right amount of water should be. When you get close to the plant, it ‘knows you are there’ because it detects the Bluetooth on your phone and connects it to the Arduino 101. The TJ Bot greets you and tells you it’s status by sending Bluetooth notifications to your phone as well as Twitter. Messages we included are “I’m thirsty!”, “Please give me water now. It’s not going to rain tomorrow!” But you can customize these messages and alerts in the way you would like.

It’s even possible to connect the solution to a ‘watering robot’ that automatically waters the plant. Meaning you can go on holiday without having to ask the neighbours to check on your garden! Now you’ve got a full-fledged IoT solution that covers monitoring AND maintenance of your plants. So who needs a green thumb and gardening skills when you’ve got IoT and technology available to monitor things remotely? Check out all the details on this DIY project @GitHub

Learn more about the Internet of Things and Node-RED

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