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BREAKING NEWS FROM MAKE: The gang from Botanicalls (Kate Hartman, Kati London, Rebecca Bray, and Rob Faludi) used one of Adafruit’s new Ethernet shields for Arduino to make some plants talk – and now you can too! That’s right, having your houseplants Twitter you when they need water and more!

“Botanicalls Twitter answers the question: What’s up with your plant? It offers a connection to your leafy pal via online Twitter status updates that reach you anywhere in the world. When your plant needs water, it will post to let you know, and send its thanks when you show it love”Link.

More:
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  • Adafruit ethernet shield for Arduino – Link.
  • Learn more about Botanicalls – Link.
  • Follow pothos the plant on Twitter! – Link.
  • Learn how to do projects like this and more with “Making things talk” – Link.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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Comments

  1. anon coward says:

    I know Arduino aims to keep it simple, but $15 + $28-50 for the Xport?!? …and your open-source project is bound to high-level proprietary (or at least vendor specific) components and protocols?

    Are the complete, free tcp/ip stacks for AVR (Aurduino), PIC, MSP430, ARM, Freescale (coldfire, et al), etc so difficult to learn that open hardware needs to take these shortcuts?

  2. Tom says:

    This project can actually be made cheaper if you don’t mind going through a pc. Also you can use one of the bare bones version of the arduino.

    PC – BBB Arduino – Plant

    Some code changes would be needed but it will be alot cheaper. I’m planning on doing something similiar but for more plants and sending the data to my pc. But it is a cool idea.

  3. Tom says:

    This project can actually be made cheaper if you don’t mind going through a pc. Also you can use one of the bare bones version of the arduino.

    PC – BBB Arduino – Plant

    Some code changes would be needed but it will be alot cheaper. I’m planning on doing something similiar but for more plants and sending the data to my pc. But it is a cool idea.

  4. The Oracle says:

    I would say it’s not cheaper if you use the PC since it’s not fair to not factor in the cost of the PC (and extra electricity costs).

    If you’re using the PC, why bother with an arduino? Just connect the sensor directly (maybe with a simple $2 PIC circuit to translate the sensor but even that might not be needed depending on the sensor).

  5. ladyada says:

    “Are the complete, free tcp/ip stacks for AVR (Aurduino), PIC, MSP430, ARM, Freescale (coldfire, et al), etc so difficult to learn that open hardware needs to take these shortcuts?”

    as someone who has written a tcp/ip stack* as well as overlaying protocols such as DHCP, for 8-bit micros (AVR/PIC), the answer is “yes, its extremely hard to use”. its also much more expensive than you’d think, after all the ‘extras’ necessary for the chip/phy to work, and/or requires soldering of very fine-pitch parts. $28 for a do-it-all plug-in module with all the nonsense is a good deal for people who just want one item.

    http://ladyada.net/techproj/aether/index.html , etc.

  6. t11s says:

    “Are the complete, free tcp/ip stacks for AVR (Aurduino), PIC, MSP430, ARM, Freescale (coldfire, et al), etc so difficult to learn that open hardware needs to take these shortcuts?”

    If you are only looking for a web server on a static IP, then these seem to do OK (of course, you could just use an Xport by itself as a web server). I’ve used a PIC board pre-programmed as a web server.

    However if you want to have a dependable DHCP address and initiate general UDP or TCP sessions, I’ve found the PIC stacks incredibly annoying to use and often bug-ridden. I suspect the AVR stacks are the same way.

    The Arduino/Xport solution is easy to set up and use and is very dependable.

  7. mk says:

    Why not just make it water the plant ?

  8. marhgil says:

    useless crap

  9. jen says:

    or just stick your finger in the dirt.

  10. follower says:

    If the xport doesn’t suit your needs, you might want to look into the WIZ810MJ used by my (in-progress) Netduino expansion shield project for the Arduino:

    http://code.rancidbacon.com/Netduino

    It includes a library to make the network (almost) as easy to use as serial for communication. (But doesn’t use your serial connection to do it!)

    –Phil.

  11. pb says:

    exactly why doesn’t the plant just water itself….if I am across the world what would I do about it

  12. Mahto says:

    A slightly more software intensive solution would be find a used router that is supported by a project such as OpenWrt (http://openwrt.org/), and use that as your device. Then you get a full embedded linux environment, possibly for under $40. Many of the routers have digital IO and serial ports inside them that can be used to interface with the outside world.

  13. seether says:

    That’s cool and all, but why would I be across the world and fly all the way back just to water my plant? And how for that matter. It would take a few days at least to get there (most liklymore).I would hire some one to do it for me,That would be apian other wise. Just change the code. And what is the “Thanks” say? Does it actuly “Thanks”? That’s cool though!

  14. seether says:

    That’s cool and all, but why would I be across the world and fly all the way back just to water my plant? And how for that matter. It would take a few days at least to get there (most liklymore).I would hire some one to do it for me,That would be apian other wise. Just change the code. And what is the “Thanks” say? Does it actuly “Thanks”? That’s cool though!

  15. seether says:

    That’s cool and all, but why would I be across the world and fly all the way back just to water my plant? And how for that matter. It would take a few days at least to get there (most liklymore).I would hire some one to do it for me,That would be apian other wise. Just change the code. And what is the “Thanks” say? Does it actuly “Thanks”? That’s cool though!

  16. seether says:

    Sorry ‘Bout that

  17. Vanessa Carpenter says:

    Another cool project involving plants and Arduino is the Singing Plant made by Half Machine. See link here: http://halfmachine.dk/posts/56

    “When the plant is touched it gives feedback in the forms of sounds and light. The more people touch the it, the more energetically it responds. The sound gains volume and the light in the room grows from dim to bright.”

    Using a theremin and arduino.

  18. agate_white says:

    no matter how far i put my two plants from each other, within a few weeks they have grown toward each other and eventually intertwine with one another. they are in love! http://www.vxcb.com That’s cool and all.

  19. brand clothing says:

    It would take a few days at least to get there (most liklymore).I would hire some one to do it for me,That would be apian other wise.

  20. brand clothing says:

    “When the plant is touched it gives feedback in the forms of sounds and light. The more people touch the it, the more energetically it responds. The sound gains volume and the light in the room grows from dim to bright.”

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