box1 is a sealed environment for indoor gardening. it is open source hardware+software, which means that the end user can easily adjust any setting on it before building.
box1 is also equipped with a plant health monitor. it is wifi ready and can alert the user on their plant's health (e-mail). it is equipped with a webcam - can keep a time-lapse video log of growth. it also records the data collected on the cloud, and graphs it.
portable and light, yet very durable. hidden wheels & handles makes relocating box1 a breeze. [[ finger scan security with the smart glass technology ensures your privacy. switch between display / mood / lockdown modes. ]]
it is solder free to build (PHM only for now), suitable for any age group. no prior electrical/programming experience required!
you can get box1 either as a DIY kit or a finished instrument. our kits are a great way to learn circuit building and programming.
interactive color changing light system teaches you how to garden, no prior gardening experience is required!
Step 1: Unboxing
you will receive 2 packages. package one will include the the laser cut frame and package two will include all hardware+electronics.
package #1 checklist
laser cut frame including display mode windows
get mood / lockdown
package #2 checklist
nut (6-32) / bolt (6-32 x 2")
dc adapter (9V for microcontroller & 12V for fans)
Step 2: Frame
the frame is laser cut with high precision, tiny amount of wood glue will do the job. carefully start assembling the pieces.
first attach the wheels + fan on the bottom and then glue all the acrylic covers to the side and front panels.
lay down the back panel, with the box1 logo facing down. glue the inner bottom and top panels first
after glue the side panels
and then glue the 2 small front panels.
wipe excess glue dripping from connections.
set your box on it's side/back and apply weight from above. wait minimum 2 hours (read glue directions) - leaving it untouched overnight will provide the best result.
test again how the door fits after the glue is set (do not glue the front panel).
**do not throw away any left over pieces that came with your frame. you can utilize the excess wood for other projects and/or to upgrade your plant box.
Step 3: Cooling system
handles act as air intake vents. the air enters the box from the upper chamber (electrical box).
the LED cooling fan directs the air downward, while the frame fan helps it exit through the false bottom (wheels box).
the fans are connected in parallel into the same adapter.
you can test the strength of the air flow by holding a lighter next to the intake holes.
Step 4: Electrical compartment
wiring is simplified with the help of plug&play modules. use solder-free jumper cables to connect everything as shown. all connections are explained in the next steps.
first run the extension cord through the hole of the electrical box, this will give access to electricity for our components.
plug in the adapters for the fans and lights. plug in the adapter for the microcontroller.
add in the plant health monitor and connect it to the microcontroller adapter.
Step 5: Light system
box1 is equipped with a 12Watt full spectrum high power LED light. the light is ~$8 to operate per year (18hrs/day). it is very easy to build and customize.
use garden wire to hang the light. first attach the wires to each leg of the light.
locate the receiving holes on the electrical compartment
feed the wires through the hole and secure them around the little wooden blocks provided with the frame.
the system is now easy to height adjust. simply roll or unroll the wooden blocks to precisely adjust each corner. you can lower one side if the plant is shorter/taller.
Step 6: Plant health monitor
upload the code first, before connecting anything to the arduino. make sure to enter the network name/password and your thingspeak write API key into the code !!! (get a thingspeak account & link it with twitter account for instant e-mail alerts)
box1 twitter channel; https://twitter.com/plant_doctor1
box1 thingspeak channel; https://thingspeak.com/channels/18259
first we plug in the sensor modules + RGB led module
all positives (+) on all modules connect to > 3V3 on arduino
all negatives (-) on all sensors connect to > GND on arduino (not rgb led module)
connect the data cable on temperature module to > A0 on arduino
connect the data cable on water module to > A1 on arduino
connect the data cable on light module to > A2 on arduino
connect the Red leg of RGB module to > D11 on arduino
connect the Green leg of RGB module to > D10 on arduino
connect the Blue leg of RGB module to > D19 on arduino
now connect the wifi module
GND on wifi module to > GND on arduino
RX on wifi module to > TX on arduino
TX on wifi module to > RX on arduino
CH_PD on wifi module to > 3V3 on arduino
VCC on wifi module to > 3V3 on arduino
you can use the mini breadboard to gain more room for your connections.
everything is connected. connect the 9V adapter to arduino. go to your channel and watch the live data feed. play with the sensors to test correct operation.
remove water sensors from soil, blue light should come on, also twitter alert "i'm thirsty"
cover the light sensor with your hand, white light should come on, also twitter alert "i'm sleeping"
for more information on cloud updates; http://www.instructables.com/id/Envolysis/
Step 7: First run + adjustments
place the plant in the middle and insert the soil probes.
make sure that there are no cables touching the fan. check all electrical connections once again.
plug in the ac cable.
everything should be up and running. it may take upto 45 seconds for the plant monitor to turn on. make sure that your blinking light is green. if not refer to the color blinking for the problem.
check your thingspeak channel to see live data feed of your plant.
Step 8: ** Upgrades
design changes - frame upgrades . i would like to upgrade the door system first, some sort of a lock system activated with a fingerprint scanner.
rear access door (finger scan secured) - still needs to be designed
electrical compartment (finger scan secured)
magnetic front latch entrance (finger scan secured)
for more info; http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Fingerprint-Sc...
switchable window covers - currently the system is equipped with magnetic switchable acrylic covers. the system will eventually be smart glass technology. finger scan will activate the glass to become clear immediately (authorized users only, or stay frosty). learn more about smart glass.
plant heat pad - environment changes - a heat pad for the colder climates will be necessary. eventually built in heat wires into the frame.
webcam. my system is currently equipped with a regular usb webcam. I have to plug in my laptop to take a picture. this is a cheap, manual camera upgrade. for an automated camera option, please refer to;
camera wiring; https://learn.adafruit.com/ttl-serial-camera
arduino time-lapse camera; http://www.instructables.com/id/Arduino-Time-Lapse...
tweeting camera; http://www.instructables.com/id/Image-Capturing-Bi...
wifi re-programmable / online app . currently the user has to connect to the microcontroller via usb cable to reprogram. with a spark photon, this problem will be solved.
lcd screen . the user will also be able to see the data feed with the on-board LCD screen attachment.
**these are the immediate/long term planned upgrades. I will update this step as I figure out new ideas..
Step 9: Conclusion
I want others to really put box1 to a test. I believe that it will be an effective tool for the professional gardener or a great help to a true beginner. never before seen growth data, automatically collected and archived. easily achievable on the cloud. live video stream.. clone one today !
box1, as well as our other plant care instruments have been developed with the help of amazing authors/users of instructables community. this is why I created a non-profit organization, the plant doctor. I am planning on collecting donations through kickstarter in pursuit of donating these instruments to k-12 science classrooms. where children can learn how a plant grows as well as circuit building + computer programming at any age group.
if you liked this project and would like to help it grow, please donate. our vision is to bring together nature and technology in a simple, non-harmful way. By educating the end user, we guarantee the success of our mission - change the world, one plant at a time...
I have an idea for a webpage where all of our plant care instruments are automatically members of. plant's with their own "facebook" profiles. updating their statuses on their own. imagine a child who is trying to do research on a certain strain/type of plant who can search this database, find, refine search by age of plant, location.. etc. watch the growth of the plant and study it's historical data. - visit tagaplant.net for more information.
let me know if you would like to be a contributor to this project (i need help), my programming skills are far from being decent :) . all donations and contributions are listed publicly on our webpage (unless otherwise noted).
thank you for your interest, please remember to vote & subscribe.
love & peace