Welcome back to the Make It Last Build Series and contest, sponsored by Microchip and Energizer. We just finished up our data logger build, and are excited to announce the second project in the Make It Last Build Series: the robot plant. Over the next five weeks, we’re going to continue our exploration of low-power microcontroller design by designing and building a robotic plant seedling, that can react to its environment in intelligent ways, and will eventually grow into a “mature” robotic plant!
We’re hoping to make these fun, informative projects and a good introduction to using “bare” microcontrollers and learning more about the relationship between microcontrollers and power management. Starting with basic components, we build up each design and you can follow along in a series of Make It Last Build Series newsletters. We then award some really cool prizes at the end of each build, based on the quality of your submission, what you learned in the process, and your documentation.
Second Build: The Robot Plant For the second project, we’ll change the pace a bit and build a robotic plant seedling that will use its microcontroller brain to monitor its environment, and bloom when the time is right. The whole project will be housed in an ordinary plant pot, and thanks to an energy-efficient design, should be able to lie dormant for months, even years, on a single set of AA batteries. That means you could set it by your window and be delighted when it wakes up, or give it as a gift to a patient robot enthusiast for safekeeping.
As with the first build, this one is also a contest that you can enter for a chance to win some awesome prizes. We’ll provide instructions on how to build our example plant, that you can follow along with at home, however, you are free to design something completely on your own. The official rules and full details are on the contest page. Your build must be powered by a battery, have some plant-like quality, and be capable of responding to input from its environment. The rest is up to you!
Sign Up for the Newsletter! The first issue of the 2nd build newsletter went out today. Be sure to sign up for it, if you haven’t already. To do so, just fill out the form below. It’ll sign you up to our official contest newsletter mailing list (for this contest and future contest project newsletters). If you were already signed up for the first build, you don’t need to sign up a second time.
If you’re interested in reading more about the Build Series, check out the Make It Last landing page for up-to-date contest details, prize packages, and build info.