GardenBot

Yes, yes, this is another garden monitoring project.

But GardenBot is a bit different. GardenBot is a comprehensive system -- from sensors to charting data. GardenBot is designed as a series of modules to make it easy(er) to expand and modify the system. Also, the GardenBot website has tutorials that are designed to be clear and easy to follow (hopefully I pulled that off).

If you are interested, please consider building a GardenBot in your own home garden. I am very interested in making this project as robust as possible.

The GardenBot website http://gardenbot.org/

p.s. this project was written up on TreeHugger http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/08/gardenbot-open-source-garden-monitoring.php

I like

Nice project sir and ma’am… I haven’t been through the whole site yet, but so far I am more impressed at the site and it’s depth than the project :smiley: Well done… very well done!

yes, very well done!!!

Great project!

It is quite similar to my device (http://ardudrop.jottit.com/), although the objective is different.

Nice webpage, well explained all the steps and parts,… so congratulations!!

Hey thanks nickvd for the compliment. Most of the work went into the site, so I'm glad it shows.

And madepablo, it looks like we do have different objectives, but I like your ArduDrop project. I will add a link to in on the GardenBot site (just let me know if this is not okay).

GardenBot is really focused on having simple, step-by-step instructions while being a flexible, extensible modular system so people can try out different setups. And I tried to make sure that charting the data would be easy (since I'm an artist, I like visual data) -- hence the CSV output and web-based charts.

Yes, the objective is different but the sensors and data that we obtain are similar: soil moisture, temperature, light,...

Yes, i saw your plots and they are pretty interesting. I will study how you do them in order to see if i could also apply them to my project.

I expect to see soon the alfa release! Good luck!

One thing I noticed (and I am not too fond of) is the 'local circuit'. Having a 'modular' system that requires modification of the main control board (in my eyes) defeats the purpose of modules.

Perhaps it's an electronics restriction, but would it be possible to just create a complete module with ALL required circuitry and just run power and data lines back to the 'brain'? that way all that would be required would be software modifications.

I see pre-written code for various modules, and a table of what pins are what module, so in a main menu (lcd on the brain) would allow me to set which pins the new module is plugged into, and what type it is, which should allow very easy changes, and almost no new code would be required (except for new modules that don't have control code already pre-programmed). All configuration would be set via a text based menu (or web based, jumpers, etc). There's 1K of eeprom on-board so the 'map' of module->pins could be retained after a power loss.

nickvd,

I'm happy to explore other ways to pull that off. There are a couple of reasons for having the local circuit portion of the module -- and yeah, they are all electronics related.

The capacitor in the sensor local circuits is acting as a noise filter, and it needs to be located physically close to the Arduino to be effective. The other thing is that by keeping the power line in the brain, you only need two wires out to the sensor (instead of three).

The idea is that the module contains all the pieces it needs to work. So one soil moisture sensor needs one local circuit -- the whole thing together makes it give you a signal you can use. If you want to add a sensor, you will need to duplicate the local circuit portion as well. And build it this way helps you understand why the sensor works so you can make adjustments.

I like the idea for a super easy interface. A note, I had trouble running the LCD display at the same time as the sensors -- a ton of noise! That's what pushed me to do the charting on the computer. But if you have interest, I say go ahead and start playing. And let me know what you find out.

Heya

This is pretty exciting. Check out the article.

GardenBot was featured on Wired.com http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010/08/gardenbot-gardening/

Nicely done! This has gotten me thinking about a few new ideas for my own project :)

GWRedDragon,

I like your project and your focus on running on battery power. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with.