Jeff Schmidt wrote in to share his latest project, which is called the Plant Whisperer. Somewhat similar to (but a complete opposite) to our Robot Plant build, Jeff’s version turns a regular plant into a robotic one that can remind him to water it. I love the custom circuit board art and fun robot voices! Here’s his explanation of how it works:

It’s a standalone datalogger that wakes up every two hours to measure the soil moisture and light level. It then picks from a list of phrases and speaks the result using real-time text to speech! The text to speech part is a little rough but I’m working on it… It’s based on a Parallax Propeller with a few supporting ICs. Power consumption is significantly reduced by using a Linear Technologies “TimerBlox” low-frequency oscillator, which controls a load switch. The Plant Whisperer draws measurable power for only about 6 seconds every two hours – for the rest of the time the current consumption is only about 75 microamps.