This is just another automated growing setup for the world's spiciest pepper. In Canada, especially my basement, it will need an artificially created environment to survive. Too hot - no peppers. Too cold - no peppers. Too humid - no peppers. Too dry - no peppers. So it was Arduino to the rescue.
I've posted an overview to a blog
but would be happy to answer any questions anyone has.
An arduino was used to collect information from various plant sensors (lighting level, temperature, soil moisture, and humidity) and control a bank of A/C electrical outlets. I'm still fighting with getting steady temperatures from the temp sensors but this post in the forums might be the solution: multi sensor analogread problems
. I'll try it out in the next few days and post the results. For now, it's just averaging 20 temperature readings at a time.
There is already a touchscreen mounted to the kitchen wall for controlling all the home automation stuff, so viewing it at a glance throughout the day is easy enough. For when we're not home, all the twitter and pachube updates go to my phone via Twitter and Pachube. Twitter and Pachube are updated through a quick 'n dirty VB app:
Total cost was about $60 for all the electronic equipment and piece of melamine board to build the growduino enclosure. I'm not sure what the next step will be, but it might be interesting if someone in the Assam region of India (the origin of this pepper variety) were to hook up an arduino to some weather sensors, publish it to a pachube feed, which I could use as an output to my arduino parameters. I could then replicate the exact weather conditions of Northern India in the basement of my home here in Canada.