Who isn't guilty of ever having killed an innocent house plant - either by not watering enough or too much, putting it in the wrong place or generally not giving it the care it needs, and deserves.
With Forget-Me-Not this a thing of the past.
"Why should we even keep plants?", you may ask.
Plants are a vital part not only to the environment but also to our own well-being at home. They improve air quality, increase productivity and help to reduce stress. Moreover, keeping plants creates a deeper connection to nature and may raise awareness for environmental problems. It teaches us how fragile plants can be and about our responsibility to care for these life forms.
In the long run Forget-Me-Not may be used on a bigger scale by implementing it for gardens, balcony farms or small homesteads. This way it provides people in urban environments with the ability to grow their own food and take a step towards self-sufficiency. Sustainability starts with each one of us!
What it does
Forget-Me-Not is an all-round DIY solution that consists of multiple measuring stations (one per plant) and a central base station that collects the sensor data of all plants. The base station then sends the data to a web server that provides an interface for our web app.
In the web app you have an overview of your plants and more detailed information to each one. Here you can see the plant's current status regarding temperature, ground moisture, light and UV levels, as well as humidity.
Using a database on plants (https://plantdatabase.kpu.ca/) Forget-Me-Not finds out exactly what your plants needs based on its species. Comparing these optimal values with the live data generated by the sensors, Forget-Me-Not will alert you to any irregularities and will offer suggestions about how to better care for your plant.
Too sunny for your plant? Find it a shady place. Too much water? Water your plant less often. Too hot and humid? Move the plant to another room.
Simply put, Forget-Me-Not will be the new best friend of your house plants and is the perfect addition to any home.
How we built it
Using an Arduino Uno and multiple sensors, we developed a compact measuring unit that collects data from all its sensors and sends it to the local base station via Bluetooth.
There, the data from all connected measuring units is collected and forwarded to the Express-based Node.JS backend server via POST requests. The data is stored in a MySQL database using Sequelize.JS. For the deployment of the server, we used Uberspace—which worked out very well.
What's next for Forget-Me-Not
Being a very flexible, DIY solution Forget-Me-Not can be modified, improved and extended as you like. It might be nice to add some more sensors to get deeper insight to the plant's condition and environment. These may include but are not limited to ground oxygen levels, ph-value and soil nutrition levels.
Moreover, as mention before, Forget-me-not could be further expanded to use in larger scale application such as gardens and balcony farms.
Additionally, it would be nice to make Forget-me-not a community-based application. This way more detailed information about optimal conditions for specific plants could be gathered and used for other users with the same plant. Forget-Me-Not might then also enable users to communicate and exchange knowledge with each other and create a thriving "garden" community.
One last improvement could me the incorporation of machine learning, so that your Forget-Me-Not system progressively learns when to best water your plants and set up an individual watering schedule.