As criminal procrastinators, we wanted to change ourselves and also help others while we were at it.

What it does

We have a raspberry-pi powered plant that waters itself only when the user earns tokens (we call them drops). Users can earn drops through our app by completing focus activities, which are timers that require you to stay within the app to complete. Every 30min spent in a focus activity will yield 10 drops. Every morning, the plant will water itself if and only if it has at least 10 drops.

How we built it

We use Firebase to host a collection of plants, and their respective drop counts. A cron job runs on the pi every morning to check Firebase and send a signal to a relay (that is in turn connected to a water pump) to water the plant.

The iOS app also connects to Firebase to update the drop count of the logged in user's plant as they finish focus activities.

What we learned

This was our first ever hardware hack!

We also used some new technologies:

  • Figma for designs
  • SwiftUI for making the iOS app UI (transitioning from UIKit)
  • Lottie for animations in the iOS app

What's next for Grow

We want to sell a kit for others to be able to build the same plant device that we did, and publish our app to be used with the kit! The kit would include everything but the raspberry pi, and also a guide and web API to query for drop counts. Stay tuned...

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