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Gardening is an activity which promotes mental well being, sustainable food supply, healthy eating and is environmentally beneficial. However with the current pandemic and lockdowns many people are deprived of this activity. During these times where people are often not allowed to see each other, go places, or even go outdoors, we wanted to provide a solution to rekindle these connections. In comes Plantr. Plantr removes the up-front cost and space constraints of having a personal garden while learning to garden sustainably from the comfort of your own home.

What it does

Users can choose a plot of land/plant, and control the vital nutrients and elements that their plant receives (hydration, fertilizer, sunlight). Also, when someone chooses a plant, they will have the option to connect with other people who have raised these same plants on our platform.

We chose this idea, as we know that sustainable gardening has many positive environmental impacts. Thus, we wanted to remove as many barriers as possible to encourage the practice, especially for students. Even after the worldwide pandemic is over, our platform can continue to help people destress and find community.

We built a hardware automated garden which can be remotely monitored and controlled. We also built an interactive platform which allows access to the garden and individual plots. Various plants can be grown with this system with machine learning powered aids to show users their expected progress as their plants grow.

How I built it

The hardware was built using various components (images provided) set out on a used cardboard box (yay recycling) to make a small garden with 2 plots. the frontend was built using figma and javascript and the middleware was deployed as a google app engine instance. We also used IBM Watson Machine Learning service to detect plant growth over time. We also used Postman for API Development.

Challenges we ran into

Our main challenge was that we had some difficulties with creating the video as our video editing software did not come with sound, which made it impossible to put the video together, and we had to adapt to the challenges. Also, getting all the parts to work together, and especially since our team was spread out across the country

Accomplishments that we’re proud of

We were able to complete a hardware hack during an online hackathon. This was most of our team’s first online hackathons and so this was an experience. Being able to connect all of the components together was a satisfying feeling.

What I learned

We learnt a lot about working with hardware remotely.

What's next for Plantr

This has the potential to be successful as sustainable gardening has been shown to considerably relieve stress. In addition to helping mental wellness, it also benefits the environment and wildlife. Plantr provides all these benefits and makes sustainable gardening something you can do and learn from your own home to help people destress and find community during a worldwide pandemic. With a growing community, our platform can allow users to obtain the fruits of their work delivered to a community of their choice or directly to their homes

We want to encourage the adoption of sustainable gardens. These gardens help the environment, wildlife, and contribute positively to social and mental health. Our goal is to remote all barriers to entry so we can maximize the positive results.

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