Raspberry Pi Smart Garden System
(Update 10/25/2018 - All Rewards now Receive 3D Printed Stands!)
This is a perfect project kit for advanced kids with some help from the adults and for adults trying to learn some new things. We have done this before with our successful OurWeather kickstarter so we know what we are talking about. People all over the world have built the OurWeather weather station with great success.
Smart Garden System (or SGS for short) is an introductory, easy to build Raspberry Pi based environmental monitoring and plant watering system using advanced sensors to monitor the soil moisture, monitor the sunlight, watch the air quality and monitor temperature and humidity.
It is designed to be easily and simply put together and tested with No Soldering Required!
And you get all the source code for the Smart Garden System software so you can do what you want. Modify the code to your own application! Add sensors! Add functions! Add more plants!
Quick Demo of the Prototype Raspberry Pi Smart Garden System
What Will You Learn with Raspberry Pi Smart Garden System?
The educational goals for Smart Garden are:
- Learn about the Raspberry Pi and installing software on the Pi
- Connecting up sensors to the Raspberry Pi
- Learning about Feedback loops and regulating water to plants
- Understand your indoor environment and what affects it
- Learn about the new technology called the Internet of Things
What is in the Kit?
- SI1145 Sunlight/IR/UV Sensor
- 8 Pixel RGBW Strip
- Sensitive Grove Air Quality Sensor
- 4 Channel 16 bit Analog to Digital Connverter
- HDC1080 Indoor Temperature and Humidity Sensor
- Grove OLED 128x64 Display
- Grove Ultrasonic Sensor
- 8 20cm Grove Cables
- 1 50cm Grove Cable
- USB PowerControl NE Solid State Relay
- Capacitive Moisture Sensor
- USB Activated Pump
- Hose 200mm, Clip for hose
- 3D Printed Ultrasonic holder
- 3D Printed SGS Stand
And in some rewards:
- Raspberry Pi 3B+
- 5V 2.5A Power Supply
- Nylon standoff kit
- Fully Pre-loaded SD Card for the Raspberry Pi 3B+ with Stretch, SGS and more
In the SGS Extender Kits:
- SGS 4 Plant Extender Board (with built in USB Pump Controls and Analog to Digital Converter)
- Four USB Controlled Pumps
- Four Capacitive Moisture Sensors
- 5V Power Supply
- 5 50cm Grove Cables
- 800mm Hose, 4 Hose Clips
- 3D Printed SGS Extender Stand
Why Back this Kickstarter?
There is a need for new kits in the marketplace that really teaches the technology. Not just a few blinking LEDs (which are fun!) but rather a system and a project that really does something.
We did this very successfully with OurWeather (a Raspberry Pi based Weather Station) and now we are doing with a kit automates plant watering by the use of sensors and science! And is still accessible to a wide range of people.
Make no doubt. You will learn something by putting this kit together!
Plus you get a great price break!
Check out Blynk App for observing and controlling the SGS across the Internet and the World!
We are using Blynk for controlling and displaying the SGS system. Here are a couple of screenshots of the almost final version!
What about all those wires?
Ack! One of the first things we noticed as we build the first SGS system prototype was that while we had all the parts up and working, the SGS extender boards are too complicated and have too many wires. Yes, it works great, but still. We needed to simplify.
What to do? Whip out the old board design brain and get our engineers on making a 4 Plant Extender Board that gets rid of almost all of these wires! We will be getting our prototypes of these boards soon from our manufacturer and then we can really rock!
Stay tuned for more information. You can control up to 9 plants with this couple of these boards and even more with a little work!
What is the Grove IOT Prototyping System?
The way we have been wiring I2C connections before just didn't work for building fast and quick IOT projects. Then we found Grove.
What is a Grove Connector?
There are hundreds of Grove Devices from multiple manufacturers around the world. Over 100 boards and sensors available.
You can't plug it in backwards. If you put the connector in the wrong plug it just doesn't work. No smoke. No fire. This makes us happy as we look over into our Box Of Death, filled with boards we have ruined. No more additions to the BOD! Well, hopefully. Have faith.
We quickly found the connectors and their respective cables very useful. With the large selection of Grove I2C devices available, we decided to include a Grove connector on all our future boards and products.
Sensors! All the Sensors!
Here are the sensors that come with the basic Smart Gardening System.
- Soil Moisture Sensor
- Temperature Sensor
- Humidity Sensors
- Sunlight Visible/IR/UV Index Sensor
- Air Quality Sensor
- Ultrasonic Water Level Sensor
- USB Pump
The 4 Plant Extender Kit adds:
- 4 USB Pumps
- 4 Moisture Sensors
- Extender Kit Controller Board
Smart Garden also comes with a USB controlled Pump, water flow sensor, plastic tubing for the water and buttons for control. Up to 9 with the extender kits!
See Your Plants on the Internet!
The Smart Garden System software comes preconfigured to display your Plant on the Internet (for all to see it in it's glory!) using an IOT App, Blynk.
Open Source Software! Change it to your liking!
Smart Garden comes will all the source code and instructions for installing it on your Raspberry Pi. You can learn from the Pure Python code, customize it, add more plants and sensors. It's a major part of the learning process for the Raspberry Pi and Smart Garden System. Not to mention having your own IOT device!
3D Printer Files
Some of our rewards come with pre-printed 3D files. For those that have access to a 3D Printer, you can print your own and modify them!
What is Coming Next in the Smart Garden System?
We will be releasing new products for this system throughout the next 18 months.
- Solar Powered SGS
- Wireless 4 Plant Extenders
- Solar Powered Wireless 4 Plant Extenders
- 4 Plant Extenders with Valves rather than Pumps (if you have a permanent water supply!)
- Hydroponics Sensors
- Soil Temperature Probes
- Soil Ph Probes
- And the holy grail - using a Raspberry Pi camera and AI Machine Learning to track plant growth! We actually can do this!
What about Alexa and the Amazon Echo and Dot?
We have this working right now in the laboratory.
It's pretty cool to be able to ask your Smart Garden System how it is doing!
While we will be publishing a tutorial on how to connect your Smart Garden System up to your own Alexa skill, it is a pretty complicated process for a beginner.
However, if we make our second stretch goal, we will release a general Alexa skill that will allow you to connect up to your Smart Garden System in a very easy fashion, with little technical work.
That will be the real magic!
REWARDS! REWARDS! REWARDS!
We are offering a selection of different Smart Garden System kits with and without 3D Printed Stands, Raspberry Pi 3B+/SD Cards and three sizes (1 plant, 5 plants or 9 plants).
You can get wooden fences at http://www.hobbylobby.com/Crafts-Hobbies/Wood-Crafting/Unfinished-Wood/White-Picket-Fence-Wood-Shapes/p/141463
Open Source Software and step-by-step photo assembly manuals provided.
Stretch Goal #1 - $10,000 (Ah, what the heck, we did it anyway........)
If we meet Stretch Goal #1, we will provide the 3D Printed Top and Stand to the first 100 backers. Woohoo!
Stretch Goal #2 - $20,000
If we meet Stretch Goal #2, we will develop and make available to Smart Garden System owners the full easy to install Amazon Alexa app. You will already have the complex tutorial to do your own when we fund the kickstarter, but this is a much, much simpler way to bring Alexa to your Smart Garden System.
The Science Behind The Board
Our beloved (most of the time) CTO, Dr. John Shovic, always insists on putting in something about the theory behind the project. Here are his thoughts.
This was a great project to design and build. It was really an interesting process learning about the sensors, how to interconnect them and then learning about flow meters, USB Pumps and especially the software bringing them all together.
Where is the science and engineering in this project? All through it from the bottom to the top. I could go through the entire system, but that will have to wait. The most interesting points? One, we are using feedback in the system. Negative feedback to be exact. We aren't just watering on a timer, we are looking at the soil moisture and if it is high enough, we don't water. We don't water unless we need to. Very cool.
Secondly, the sensors we have in this project are amazing. For example, the Air Quality sensor is very, very sensitive. We can detect hairspray from 50 feet away (more on that in an update).
Thirdly, I got a lot out of learning how to display the data from Smart Garden on the Blynk IOT App for Android and iPhones and I had a lot of fun designing the Alexa app, although they made me take out all the cool statements. Such as asking Smart Garden "who is the coolest person you know?". The answer to that was obvious to me, but since it was debatable, we removed it. :(
Risks and challenges
Risks and challenges
The primary risk in these boards is that of schedule. It is important to note that SwitchDoc Labs is already committed to bringing this products to market, so this kickstarter can be viewed as a low risk item. You do get a great price break, however!
Our software for the Smart Garden System is under development and will be released during the Kickstarter.
The software is in final testing and will be released shortly for their full initial production runs of all the devices. The prototypes are in house and working, although testing is still underway.
SwitchDoc Labs has already successfully completed twelve kickstarters and all rewards were substantially shipped on time. It's a good record and we don't want to do any less on this kickstarter.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (20 days)