We Make An Enchanted Object

This week we got the opportunity to work together with another bachelor degree of Howest. The two options we had were “Sport And Movement” and “Industrial Product Design”. Both options seemed equally appealing with lots of interesting projects so it was very hard to make a top three as asked by our teachers. Fortunately we work in team and after some consultation we got a consensus.

The teachers then had an even more difficult job to make everyone happy and assign the right project to the right team. My team got assigned to a project from “Industrial Product Design” or “IPD” called “Flowergotchi”.

This project is an idea by Stijn Van der Heijden, a last year’s IPD student. He took some inspiration from the “Tamagotchi” toy where you have to take care of a virtual pet. The only difference is now you have to take care of a plant instead of a pet and you can use your smartphone for this.

Stijn wants to make a smart flowerpot. He wants to be able to compete with friends to see who has the greenest thumb. He also wants a history log of the life of the plant. He would like to get notifications when the plant is thirsty for example. He would love to be able to see how old and happy the plant is. He also wants us to add some fun facts to the app. Phew, that’s quite a lot isn’t it?

Let’s go over the practical side of stuff. How can a smartphone know whether your plant is happy or not? By using sensors of course! The plant will be constantly monitored by UV sensors, temperature sensors and even a moisturise sensor. The mood of the plant will be shown in the app and on an RGB led. Before I go into any further details, it might be easier to show you a scheme:

Technological Scheme

As you can see, all data gets processed by an Arduino. The Arduino then sends everything to a Raspberry Pi which is connected to the Cloud. In the Cloud all kind of magic happens so the data can be beautifully displayed on the smartphone. Fingers crossed this will all work out in the end!

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