Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Set up a SmartPlant monitoring system with your Raspberry Pi.   This Kit is designed to teach the technology and requires NO soldering!
Set up a SmartPlant monitoring system with your Raspberry Pi.   This Kit is designed to teach the technology and requires NO soldering!
Set up a SmartPlant monitoring system with your Raspberry Pi. This Kit is designed to teach the technology and requires NO soldering!
73 backers pledged $8,607 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

SmartPlantPi - Smart Garden with your Raspberry Pi Kit! project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

SmartPlantPi - Smart Garden with your Raspberry Pi Kit!

$8,607

73

The Smart Plant Pi Project Kit

This is a perfect project kit for 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 Plant Pi
Smart Plant Pi

SmartPlantPi (or Smart Plant 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.

Top View
Top View

It is designed to be easily and simply put together and tested with No Soldering Required!

The Block Diagram
The Block Diagram

 

And you get all the source code for the Smart Plant software so you can do what you want.   Modify the code to your own application!  Add sensors!  Add functions!  Add more plants!

What Will You Learn with Smart Plant?

The educational goals for Smart Plant 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

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!

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.

A Grove Cable
A Grove Cable

Sensors!  All the Sensors!

Here are the sensors that come with SmartPlant.

  • Soil Moisture Sensor
  • Temperature Sensor
  • Humidity Sensors
  • Sunlight Visible/IR/UV Index Sensor
  • Air Quality Sensor

Smart Plant also comes with a USB controlled Pump, water flow sensor, plastic tubing for the water and buttons for control.

Sensors Sensors Sensors!
Sensors Sensors Sensors!

See Your Plant on the Internet!

The SmartPlant software comes preconfigured to display your Plant on the Internet (for all to see it in it's glory!) using an IOT dashboard.   This is done by using Pubhub and Freeboard (both in Free mode!) to display all the information.   We are publishing a very straight forward tutorial to make this work with your Smart Plant.   

Want to see the Live Link to our Smart Plant? Click here. It will take about 15 seconds to refresh.

Want to see the Live Link to our Smart Plant?  Click here. It will take about 15 seconds to refresh.

Open Source Software!  Change it to your liking!

Smart Plant 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 Plant.  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!

OpenSCAD files and STL files Provided
OpenSCAD files and STL files Provided

What about Alexa and the Amazon Echo and Dot?

We have this working right now in the laboratory. 

Alexa and Smart Plant Together Again
Alexa and Smart Plant Together Again

It's pretty cool to be able to ask your SmartPlant how it is doing!

While we will be publishing a tutorial on how to connect your SmartPlant Pi 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 SmartPlant Pi 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 Plant Pi kits with and without 3D Printed Stands and combo kits with OurWeather.

None of the SmartPlant Pi Kits come with the fences or the Raspberry Pi's.

FYI, OurWeather is priced at $149.00 and SmartPlantPi is estimated to be priced at $135.00 when released to the general public.

You can get great service on Raspberry Pis at http://www.mcmelectronics.com and you can get the 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

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 Plant Pi 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 Plant Pi.

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 Plant on the Freeboard IOT Dashboard 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 Plant "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

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 Plant Pi 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 eight 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

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Thank You for More STEM Grove Kits!

    Thanks for the kits for REAL learning! And for Grove Connector Kits to minimize soldering!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    3 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $85 or more About $85

    Early Bird! SmartPlantPi + 3D Stand

    Early Bird Special! A Full SmartPlant Pi kit with the 3D Printed Stand! (No Raspberry Pi or Fence Included).

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 20 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    Full SmartPlantPi Kit

    A Full SmartPlant Pi Kit (No 3D Printed Stand, Raspberry Pi or Fence Included).

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 23 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $110 or more About $110

    Full SmartPlantPi Kit + 3D Printed Stand

    A Full SmartPlant Pi kit with the 3D Printed Stand! (No 3D Printed Stand, Raspberry Pi or Fence Included).

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 16 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $115 or more About $115

    Full SmartPlantPi Kit

    A Full SmartPlant Pi Kit (No 3D Printed Stand, Raspberry Pi or Fence Included).

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $220 or more About $220

    Full SmartPlantPi/OurWeather Kit Bundle

    A Full SmartPlant Pi Kit and OurWeather Kit! (No 3D Printed Stand, Raspberry Pi or Fence Included). ($300 Value!)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 7 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $420 or more About $420

    School Kit! 5 SPP Kits/3DStands

    5 Full sets of SmartPlant Pi (SPP) and 3D Printed Stands (No Raspberry Pi's or Fences Included).

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (20 days)