Forgetfulness can no longer be an excuse for Twitter-using brown-thumb gardeners with the Botanicalls DIY kit. When your plants need refreshment, the DIY kit tweets that the soil is dry enough to break out the watering can. Your efforts don’t go unnoticed either — the grateful plant even posts a thank you tweet after the libation is received.
The Botanicalls DIY kit contains about 30 pieces, with some soldering required. Don’t fret if the assembly sounds overwhelming; you can access a step-by-step manual online. The DIY kit requires a power outlet and network connection with an ethernet cable for the ATmega328 microcontroller to broadcast your plant’s needs.
After building your kit, place the two metal prongs of the leaf-shaped device into your plant’s soil and wait for the tweets to come rolling in. For the chip to work properly, the plant needs to be in at least three inches of soil. The tweets are pre-programmed, but can be changed to whatever clever alert you want to see posted on your Twitter feed.
Botanicalls DIY can also inform you of the soil moisture level or if the plant didn’t receive a sufficient dousing from your latest watering. See what some Botanicalls plants are posting on Twitter @Pothos.
Botanicalls was developed by Rob Faludi, Kate Hartman, and Kati London as graduate students at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program in 2006 as “a new channel of communication between plants and humans.” After seeing many houseplants wither and die in the lab, they decided to give the plants a direct way to access fellow programmers — and violá! Botanicalls was born.
You can order the Botanicalls DIY kit online at Sparkfun for $99.95.
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