New Device For Plants To Talk and Send Text Messages
Posted by keelynet on February 15, 2010
Nowhere near intelligent plant communication but it’s a neat toy.
“The device can send short messages to a mobile phone or, by using a service called Twitter, it can send short messages to the Internet. The messages can range from reminders to water the plant, a thank you or a warning that you over- or under-watered it.
To communicate, probes in the soil emit electric waves. A voltage level based on the moisture content is sent through two wires to a circuit board that compares the optimum moisture level with the current one. A local network receives this data and allows the plant to send a message through the device.
“They’ll recognize when they’ve been watered, and they’ll say thank you, and they’ll also let you know if you’ve over-watered or under-watered,” said Botanicalls developer Katie London. Botanicalls researchers have created units with a soil-moisture sensor.
“We have a little micro-controller unit that’s basically a little computer that’s hooked up to your plant,” said developer Kate Hartman. Probes in the soil send out electrical waves. Based on amount of moisture in the soil, a voltage level is sent through two wires to a circuit board that compares current moisture levels to the optimum moisture level.
This data is received by a local network, which allows the plant to send a message for help. “We decided to tap into existing communication systems and allow them to talk like people,” Hartman said. Not only is it for growing botanists — it’s also for budding engineers. Each device has to be assembled from basic parts.
Each Botanicalls kit is $99. Developers say it’s worth it if you like your plants but don’t always remember to take care of them. The new kit is the third generation of the Botanicalls system. The team is continuing to innovate and hopes to make it smaller, cheaper and easier to use.” – Full Article Source
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