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Plants Use Twitter to Tell You to Water Them

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the science-and-technology-versus-laziness dept.

88

ptorrone noted a Make article about twittering your plants just in case you need that sort of thing in your life. And you do. He says "The gang from Botanicalls used one of Adafruit's new open source hardware ethernet shields for Arduino (open hardware too) to make some plants talk — and now you can too! That's right, having your houseplants Twitter you when they need water and more! You can see what one of the plants is doing now..."

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Just what every household needs.. (4, Funny)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#22545346)

Their very own highly opinionated /. troll, complete with an infinite supply of hot air, a built in watering reminder, and an obstinate refusal to just die. If you want to make sure that the watering reminder works you must make sure not to leave any Microsoft related products around though, otherwise the ranting could distract him for days!

Re:Just what every household needs.. (1)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 6 years ago | (#22546536)

Ah. So I was not the only one to imagine the horrors of a Twitter in every household.

Imagine planting one (no pun intended) inside Microsoft campus...

Re:Just what every household needs.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22555712)

What if the pants wants to sleep [kanati.com.ph] ?

Marijuana Plant (5, Funny)

Himring (646324) | more than 6 years ago | (#22545362)

Says,
"Dude, roll me...."
"Dude, nice roll. Not too tight on ends or loose in the middle."
"Dude, you're burning me now. Huh, huh, huh...."

Re:Marijuana Plant (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#22545488)

Hehehe.. it's like the UK police using YouTube to bust guys who record themselves speeding - recently they got one guy who was driving at 120mph while using one hand to hold the camera - not the most sensible thing anyone's ever done is it? In this case though, they could probably nab the owners of illegal plants if they're dumb enough to put up real pics :P

Re:Marijuana Plant (1)

joaommp (685612) | more than 6 years ago | (#22545508)

Talking about plants and your sig:

"All great things are simple & expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope, pot."

Re:Marijuana Plant (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22547454)

After consuming the first batch, I am sure they'll start talking back to you.

tag: sensless (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22545384)

tag this one as "senseless"

jeez...

Re:tag: sensless (2, Funny)

joaommp (685612) | more than 6 years ago | (#22545470)

I was trying to think of some very intelligent or funny comment about this article.

I got nothing.

--
got to go now, my cactus is twitting.

Re:tag: sensless (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#22545942)

tag this one as "senseless"
Or "slashvertisement" or "spam" or "sock puppet" or "viral marketing"

I can't see the plants, some1 fucked up the routes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22545450)

"You can see what one of the plants is doing now..."

oh.. it's slashdotted. Damn ner.. HERDS!!

This is nothing (4, Funny)

Malevolent Tester (1201209) | more than 6 years ago | (#22545452)

We've got vegetables and fruits doing development.

Yeah, like my plants need to remind me to water em (1)

Dr.Merkwurdigeliebe (1055918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22545466)

Most of them are already dead!

Re:Yeah, like my plants need to remind me to water (1)

shivamib (1034310) | more than 6 years ago | (#22545700)

Well, you're doing it wrong, then!

Re:Yeah, like my plants need to remind me to water (4, Interesting)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | more than 6 years ago | (#22545850)

If you can't grow anything, I suggest you get an Opuntia. I haven't watered a few of mine since early December, and they're fine. Of course, the glochids [answers.com] will make your life miserable if you touch them, but they're still pretty cool and most species are fairly easy to grow (not all easy though; O. microdasys and some others can be hard). As long as the soil drains and drys quickly, you don't overwater it, and it gets enough light, pretty much anyone can grow one. If you can't grow an Opuntia, you probably can't grow anything. Everyone on Slashdot should have an Opuntia.

Re:Yeah, like my plants need to remind me to water (1)

afedaken (263115) | more than 6 years ago | (#22546112)

Are you keeping edible varieties? And if so, how often do you harvest?

I've got a couple of cacti at home, but none at the office. The only plants in my cube are cuttings from our leased philodendrons, and a lonely aloe plant grown from cuttings of the one that lived with me at my last consulting job.

Re:Yeah, like my plants need to remind me to water (2, Informative)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | more than 6 years ago | (#22554744)

One of them (O. ficus-indica) is edible, but since I just got it about a year ago as unrooted pads, really I don't know how often it will set fruit. If you really want to know, you can ask people wiser than myself on this forum [gardenweb.com] or this one. [thegardenforums.org] If you didn't already know, you can also eat the young pads of some Opuntia species, provided you've passed them under a flame to burn off those darned glochids.

For office plants, I'd suggest getting something cooler than a philo to keep your aloe company, like maybe a nice Haworthia (an Aloe relative). I've never tested this out, but they are supposed to be able to thrive in relatively low light conditions, like an office, and thanks to their small size, they're space conservant. My favorite member of the genus is H. limafolia [davesgarden.com] (especially the rarer nigra and varigate [davesgarden.com] forms). An office cactus might become light stretched and sickly unless you've got a corner cube with a window, but it never hurts to try. There are lots of cool and moderately easy things to try growing; my personal favorite are succulent members of the Euporbia genus, and the Haworthia mentioned above, but there are also nice genera like Echeveria, Crassula, Gasteria, Aeonium, Senecio, Pachypodium, Kalanchoe, Aloe (there are way cool things [davesgarden.com] out there besides aloe vera), and in the cactus family, Mammillaria, Lobivia, Austrocylindropuntia, Tephrocactus, Oreocereus, Myrtillocactus, Hylocereus, Pereskiopsis, and many others.

All those genera have some species that are easy to grow, provided they're kept dry between their weekly, biweekly, or monthly waterings, depending on species and season (except Pereskiopsis and, to a lesser extent, Hylocereus, jungle cacti that don't mind being wet). If they're too wet they will rot, the number one killer of potted cacti and succulents. If you decide to try your hand at them, don't worry if you rot a few; everyone does. Many of them can be found at your local Lowes, Home Depot, or Wal-Mart, probably in crappy soil with a flower glued to them dying from lack of/too much water and not enough light. Worst case scenario you're out a few bucks, best case you've made yourself a lifelong friend.

They might need to be rotated between work and a window at home every now and again, depending on how much much light they're getting, but I guarantee your cube will look better if its loaded with spiky, colorful, and otherwise strange plants that look like they came from another planet.

Re:Yeah, like my plants need to remind me to water (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 6 years ago | (#22546840)

If you can't grow anything, get an artificial plant. Or switch to collectables. [hummelexchange.com]

Re:Yeah, like my plants need to remind me to water (1)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 6 years ago | (#22550456)

If you can't grow anything, grow weeds. Why, do you ask? Simple. They are tough sun of a guns. I am now testing the hardiness of some weeds from my garden. I devoid them from light and water but the tough suckers simply won't die. And I have been doing this for more than a week.

Weeds, because they simply don't die.

Re:Yeah, like my plants need to remind me to water (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22547838)

Most of them are already dead!
Do they come back to life as zombie plants?

You have to watch them. If you have one in your bedroom, you'll notice that instead of the sunlight, such plants grow towards your pillow or where you normally sit at your computer.

Even plant zombies like brainzzzz.

In Binary? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22545498)

Feed Me Seymour!

Rather than have the plant call you... (5, Insightful)

sacremon (244448) | more than 6 years ago | (#22545518)

...why not have it hooked into a watering system directly? That way all you need to do is make sure the reservoir has water in it. Seems a lot less intrusive, and you don't have any potential phone bills from your plant.

Re:Rather than have the plant call you... (1)

Pulse_Instance (698417) | more than 6 years ago | (#22546124)

I was already thinking it would be much easier if you just had it water itself when it was thirsty. No need to run a cable anywhere that way.

Re:Rather than have the plant call you... (1)

Shino (1136081) | more than 6 years ago | (#22546326)

The actual mission is to improve the communication between human and plant.

Who knows what would happen if you'd make the plants independent from the humans..

Re:Rather than have the plant call you... (2, Funny)

sacremon (244448) | more than 6 years ago | (#22550100)

The actual mission is to improve the communication between human and plant. Who knows what would happen if you'd make the plants independent from the humans..

Ah, hence the slippery slope. Eventually someone will figure out a way to get plants to post to Usenet, and from there you'll get a bunch of pistil porn and flame wars about the size each other's e-stamen...

Re:Rather than have the plant call you... (1)

pha7boy (1242512) | more than 6 years ago | (#22546342)

not to mention that having the plant need water when you're away seems like a like useless since there is not much you can do except know that you're plant needs water. my way of dealing with things like that is to a) water my plants each weekend and b) water my plants before leaving for any extended period of time.

Re:Rather than have the plant call you... (1)

Elyscape (882517) | more than 6 years ago | (#22547842)

Because then you can't get it posted on the front page of Slashdot.

Re:Rather than have the plant call you... (1)

Shadowlore (10860) | more than 6 years ago | (#22550086)

Perhaps you don't set up an automated watering system is because of the trouble of running piping to plants scattered around the house? If you opt for a local reservior to avoid the water piping then you'll need something to let you know the water level is too low. That means back to square one with getting notified.

Let us know how "intrusive" having water pipes/lines running to all your houseplants is. Especially for people in apartments.

Re:Rather than have the plant call you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22551170)

This beats the purpose for the lonely Twitter dude. Its more impressive to show to the twitter girl (if there is such a thing) that your plant called asking for water than to actually water it behind the scenes!

Hard plants (2, Interesting)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | more than 6 years ago | (#22545528)

They used an ornamental pepper and a pothos? They're simple, just water them every week or so. What would be impressive is if they worked a system for a hard plant, like a Pseudolithos, that would take humidity, time of year, soil type, ect. into consideration when telling you when to water.

Re:Hard plants (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 6 years ago | (#22545766)

they already have such systems for them, They range from simple (Bright red LED blinking in your plant), to advanced systems that sms your phone. far more effective than the silly design in the article and commercially available.

I've heard of... (4, Funny)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22545546)

People talking to their plants... but their plants talking to them? What is this Soviet Russia?

If my plants start talking to me it means I need to go away for a little vacation...

Re:I've heard of... (1)

garett_spencley (193892) | more than 6 years ago | (#22546026)

If my plants start talking to me it means I need to go away for a little vacation...

Usually when plants start talking to people it means they've had enough and it's time to lay off for a little while ...

In this case a vacation may be warranted so long as the subject takes a taxi to the airport and does not attempt to operate a motor vehicle him/herself.

Re:I've heard of... (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548354)

Going on vacation is not gonna help now that they can text you too .. you would have to go live in an Amish community or a monastery.

Arduino is a great platform (2, Interesting)

Biotech9 (704202) | more than 6 years ago | (#22545572)

I've got no electronic/IT background at all (I'm a lab tech), but even I could mess around with an arduino and get it to work. My GF is using one in an art project to have bag that analyses RFID tags from supermarket food and change the appearance of the bag depending on how ecologically you shopped.

I'm thinking of trying to use an arduino and my home music/movie server PC to make a cheap version of Philips 'Wake up light' [amazon.co.uk] . I was thinking of using it to control a stepper motor hooked up to a dimmer switch, but maybe someone here (with real electronics knowledge) can hint at a better way to do this?

Re:Arduino is a great platform (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 6 years ago | (#22545716)

Use a triac [wikipedia.org] to build your own dimmer circuit and control it directly.

Arduino as build control tool (1)

mccalli (323026) | more than 6 years ago | (#22546686)

I've been considering getting one of these for use as a build tool.

Eons ago, Slashdot had an article on using lava lamps as part of your build control process [slashdot.org] . The idea was that if the build broke, the lava lamp of the developer who broke was switched on. Since lava lamps take a while to get going, you had about twenty minutes or so to fix the build before everyone started noticing what was going on.

Now I thought about doing the same with an Ambient Orb [ambientdevices.com] . A spot of searching suggests I'm not the only one who thought about this, but I ran into two problems straight off - the ambient orb doesn't work in Europe, and you need to post data to an external web site whereas my stuff is internal only. So that's a dead end.

Enter Arduino. There are sites on the web showing how to create a glowing orb using an Arduino-based device connected via USB. Now if I had that, I could write a small app to interpret cruise control output and then have the globe start glowing orange for, say, failed unit tests or red for 'this build is dead'. Green or blue for 'everything is fine'. I'm pretty interested in doing this project, as ever it's a question of time, but I can easily see the benefits of it.

Cheers,
Ian

Re:Arduino is a great platform (2, Informative)

evanbd (210358) | more than 6 years ago | (#22547250)

Certainly, though the details depend on the kind of light; since you say a dimmer, I'll assume you mean a normal 120V incandescent. It would be easier with LEDs or low voltage DC lights, harder with fluorescents.

Warning: this is a high voltage circuit. Don't kill yourself, observe normal precautions, etc. Mistakes might well fry you or the circuit. Also, in an effort to keep this as simple as possible, the wiring will not be to code -- as in, both sides of the light bulb will be potentially "hot", so you could electrocute yourself from *either* contact on the socket, not just the central one. The zeroth thing to install in this circuit is an appropriate fuse and a main power switch. A GFCI outlet wouldn't be a bad idea.

One other poster suggested a triac, but those might be a bit of a pain to work with. An easier answer might be the following. First, you need an isolated DC power source for the controller -- anything coming through a transformer is fine, but from eg a computer power supply is not fine. Next, you put a full-wave rectifier [wikipedia.org] in front of the light bulb, so that it's effectively running on DC voltage (it's varying amplitude, but all the same polarity). Verify that the light bulb lights up at full brightness at this point.

Next, connect the minus end of your rectified light bulb supply and your circuit ground together. You now need a power N-channel MOSFET [wikipedia.org] . It should have a voltage rating of at least 200V and a current rating several times the nominal bulb current (eg 60W bulb at 120V = 0.5A, use a MOSFET rated for at least 5A surge currents). The source connects to ground, the drain connects to one side of the bulb, and the gate connects to a pin on the microcontroller. Add another rectifier diode from the transistor drain to the rectified positive voltage, oriented so it normall doesn't conduct -- this is a freewheel diode to make sure that any inductive load the bulb presents doesn't hurt the transistor. (When you turn off the bulb very rapidly, current will continue to flow briefly, possibly overvoltaging the transistor. It shouldn't actually be an issue, but it might be, so add the diode.) Lastly, the other side of the bulb connects to the rectified wall current.

You should now have an electronically controlled light bulb -- when the gate voltage is high (roughly 4-8V, the 5V from the controller will work fine), the bulb should be on; when it's low (pulse width modulate the bulb -- basically, turn it on and off quickly, about 1000 times per second should work well. To control the brightness, simply vary how long it's turned on. So a "dim" setting might be on 200us, off 800us, and "bright" might be on 800us, off 200us. Fully on and fully off are easy.

Lastly, get a simple 5V relay capable of switching the light bulb on and off, controlled by the microcontroller. Any time the light bulb is completely off, turn it off with both the relay and the MOSFET. When the bulb is off, both sides of it are hot and a hazard; the relay fixes that. Be sure to include a freewheel diode so the relay coil doesn't damage the microcontroller.

This circuit will cause electrical noise; there's some chance some electronics operating near it will be unappreciative, but it shouldn't be too bad.

Hopefully that's easy enough to understand. Email me if you have questions.

Re:Arduino is a great platform (1)

dasunt (249686) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548760)

I'm thinking of trying to use an arduino and my home music/movie server PC to make a cheap version of Philips 'Wake up light'. I was thinking of using it to control a stepper motor hooked up to a dimmer switch, but maybe someone here (with real electronics knowledge) can hint at a better way to do this?

Cheap X10 controller, cheap X10 light dimmer switch hooked up to the lamp you want to control (I think the LM465's should work, but I've never used them). Ebay's probably the cheapest source. Ignore the arduino completely, it is overkill.

No, DON'T USE a triac! (1)

Okian Warrior (537106) | more than 6 years ago | (#22549744)

If you've got no electronics experience, DON'T USE a triac!

A triac is an extremely fast electronic switch which is used as follows:

1) You monitor the AC current. Specifically, you notice when the sine wave crosses zero volts (120 times a second).
2) You then turn on the AC power sometime *after* the zero crossing occurs, but before the next crossing, where you turn it off again.

With the right timing, you let only a portion of the AC current through, which results in less power - effectively dimming the light. For instance, if you turn the triac on 50% into the cycle, only half the current gets through. The other half was blocked during the time the triac was off.

Microncontrollers are very fast, and can easily adjust the "turn on" time with great precision, giving the appearance of smooth dimming.

The problem with triacs is that you have to connect to the AC system. This is not very difficult, but there's a ton of extra information you need above and beyond the electronics in order to do it safely.

For instance, you need an opto-isolator to separate the AC wiring from the low voltage microcontroller wiring. This prevents the system from catching fire if there's ever a problem. It also prevents the system from becoming dangerous if there's a problem. You roll over in the morning and hit the switch - only to find out it's now connected directly to the AC lines due to some fault.

Connecting hobbyist (ie - non UL approved) circuits to your AC will also void your insurance if there's a fire (I think that's the case). This is why wall warts are used everywhere: the supply is itself UL approved, and the device is far away at the end of a long wire.

A better solution is to use an X-10 module to control the light. It's got a triac inside it and it's already UL approved, so they've done all the work for you. You can get a TW-523 interface, which is essentially a serial port interface to X-10 and hook *that* up to whatever micro control system you want to build. This has the advantage in being able to control any light in your house, even more than one.

Hooking a motor up to a dimmer switch is also an excellent solution. You will understand the mechanism, can see that it works, and it's effectively insulated from the AC lines.

Good luck on your project.

But.. (1)

Urger (817972) | more than 6 years ago | (#22545574)

My plants are made of plastic you insensitive clod!

Just say NO (1)

J4 (449) | more than 6 years ago | (#22545588)

Okay, today I saw in order:

1) Tabletop home aeroponic "herb garden"
2) Upside down hanging "tomato" grow bags

Now this?

Re:Just say NO (2, Interesting)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22545684)

1) Tabletop home aeroponic "herb garden"
I actually have one of those [aerogrow.com] in my apartment. It's really neat. The light is on an 8 hour timer and the water pumps up into the sponge the different plants are growing into. It adds a unique aesthetic to the apartment as a whole and the artificial sun works better than an alarm clock sometimes both on when I should head to bed and get up.

It will be nice to have fresh herbs.

They don't want water.... (3, Funny)

idiotnot (302133) | more than 6 years ago | (#22545632)

'cause water is from the toilet. Brawndo [brawndo.com] 's got what plants crave. It's got electrolytes.

Re:They don't want water.... (1)

JDSalinger (911918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548994)

What are electrolytes? Do you even know?

Re:They don't want water.... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22549476)

Shut up!! Quit talkin like a fag!

Re:They don't want water.... (1)

natgry (1139605) | more than 6 years ago | (#22553336)

they're....what plants crave....

New phenominon (1)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 6 years ago | (#22545690)

*IT department* "Hey, what are these... 'plants'... doing in our server room?" -"Uhm, yeah, well..."

Demanding... (5, Funny)

wonderwidget (625200) | more than 6 years ago | (#22545748)

From Twitter
URGENT! Water me! 06:29 PM February 22, 2008 from web
Water me please 06:27 PM February 22, 2008 from web

Yeah, that's just what I need - a needy plant pinging me every couple minutes.

When are you coming home! 06:31 PM
Does this vase make me look fat? 06:32 PM
Why are you ignoring me?!? 06:32 PM
We need to talk. 06:35 PM
You know what you did! 06:36 PM

Re:Demanding... (5, Funny)

RockMFR (1022315) | more than 6 years ago | (#22546154)

ferti1izer enlarge stem 2 to 4 inches! 06:39 PM

Re:Demanding... (1)

Shadowlore (10860) | more than 6 years ago | (#22550144)

Dammit that isn't water! I hate it when you come home drunk. 2:30 AM

That's why mine keep dying (1)

esocid (946821) | more than 6 years ago | (#22545782)

Is that device basically a moisture gauge that calls you? If so, your plants aren't saying shiat. Keep playing the Mozart though, they like that.

Botanicalls was developed to provide a new way for plants and people to communicate in order to develop better, longer-lasting relationships between them.
People can have relationships with plants? I suppose The Professional [imdb.com] comes to mind now.

Forest Fire (2, Funny)

Null Perception (914562) | more than 6 years ago | (#22545792)

As if millions of twitters suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

Frankly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22545886)

Frankly, if you really need an internet service to tell you to water your own plants, there really is no hope for you.

My God (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 6 years ago | (#22546054)

Worst title I've seen in years... I'll let other people make the jokes

Except this one: Perhaps they should have named it 'Erris'

Twitter? (1)

iago-vL (760581) | more than 6 years ago | (#22546242)

Am I the only one who had no idea what this article was talking about? I had never heard the word "twitter" before, except possibly as a verb that small birds do, so the entire summary made absolutely no sense to me..

Re:Twitter? (1)

Schiphol (1168667) | more than 6 years ago | (#22546374)

You must be about the only one, yes. Twitter [twitter.com] is one of the best-known web 2.0 thingies. Not that you are missing anything, mind you.

I'm tempted to start my own company (1)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 6 years ago | (#22546270)

called "Twatter"

Re:I'm tempted to start my own company (1)

ecavalli (1216014) | more than 6 years ago | (#22556072)

I was going to point out the obvious sexual connotation, but I think the already existing twatter.com site does it best.

From the twatter.com [twatter.org] homepage:

A global community of friends and strangers answering one simple question: Who are you doing?

Re:I'm tempted to start my own company (1)

socz (1057222) | more than 6 years ago | (#22566172)

haha well, twatter.com sounds like something they can use here at work! I mean that's all most men and women talk about anyways! hahaha

A play (1)

sskagent (1170913) | more than 6 years ago | (#22546442)

So now all that needs to be done is write a stage play based off of a plant that constantly says "Feed me" and we'll be made men!

Nobody could have foreseen.... (1)

jalefkowit (101585) | more than 6 years ago | (#22546622)

Twitter is down, like, half the time [mashable.com] .

How long until the first lawsuit from a disgruntled plant-owner whose plant died because he was waiting for a tweet that never came?

(Note for the humor-impaired: I keed, I keed!)

"Feed Me, Seymour!" (1)

BeeBeard (999187) | more than 6 years ago | (#22546714)

When I read that some geeks had found a way to get plants to "twitter" them, I feared the worst. Thankfully, "Twitter" is apparently just a universal instant messaging service [wikipedia.org] .

Little Shop of Twitters? (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 6 years ago | (#22546762)

Feed me, Seymour!

The Exciting World Of Plants! (4, Funny)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 6 years ago | (#22546780)

6am: Huh?
7am: Photosynthesizing
8am: Photosynthesizing
9am: Photosynthesizing
10am: Photosynthesizing
11am: Photosynthesizing
noon: Photosynthesizing
1pm: Photosynthesizing
2pm: Photosynthesizing
3pm: Photosynthesizing
4pm: Photosynthesizing
5pm: Photosynthesizing
6pm: Photosynthesizing
7pm: The dark! The dark! Oh woe! Do not go gentle into that good night! Rage, rage against the dying of the light!
8pm: no activity
9pm: no activity
10pm: no activity
11pm: no activity
midnight: no activity
1am: no activity
2am: no activity
3am: no activity
4am: no activity
5am: no activity
6pm: Huh?

What is a "ethernet shield"?? (1)

Rick Richardson (87058) | more than 6 years ago | (#22546928)


I've been in embedded HW/SW for 35 years. "Ethernet shield" - what is that???

Re:What is a "ethernet shield"?? (2, Informative)

anotherone (132088) | more than 6 years ago | (#22547378)

Arduino is an open hardware project. It consists of a base board with certain capabilities, and you can buy (or build) "shields" to add capabilities to the basic package. The ethernet shield for example adds ethernet capabilities to the thing.

Re:What is a "ethernet shield"?? (1)

Rick Richardson (87058) | more than 6 years ago | (#22550832)

But what is a "shield"???? Maybe a "board" mis-translated?

Re:What is a "ethernet shield"?? (1)

anotherone (132088) | more than 6 years ago | (#22551142)

No, it's called a shield. You're right, it's just an expansion board, but they call it a shield.

I guess because they sit on top of the board and "shield" the processor? I don't know.

Here are some pictures that might clear things up: Shields [arduino.cc]

Does it: (1)

i_liek_turtles (1110703) | more than 6 years ago | (#22547678)

reorder Brawndo when I run out?

This is not your plat talking... but... it could (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22547712)

This is not your plant talking, but the moisture sensor.

HOWEVER, maybe you could also get your plant talking to you... Russian scientists, then in the US the guy who supplies lie detector devices and consulting for the CIA, FBI, etc. have developed sophisticated equipments to pick up signals from plants and they were quite surprised to "hear" what the plants were able to "tell" them... I don't have access to the book, etc. right now to provide links, but it's a fascinating story.

Bigger problems (1)

element-o.p. (939033) | more than 6 years ago | (#22547878)

If my plants need to twitter me to ask for water, I've got bigger problems...like "what happened to all the water in the aquarium?" and "are my fish only good for fertilizer now?" (pair of amazon swords and a half dozen tetras sitting on my desk).

LSoH (2, Funny)

Hillgiant (916436) | more than 6 years ago | (#22547900)

Feed me Seymour! 11:47am February 25, 2008 from basement.

Old news (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548222)

Feed Me! [imdb.com]

Prior Art: Sensors and Environment (1)

ngr8 (504185) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548314)

The use of communicating sensors has been broadly discussed for "commercial" agricultural applications, including:

Netting it out: wireless sensors have been important and become more important with communications clouds. Applications for agriculture generally, including vineyards (where microclimate sensing sorts out good from great) and organic production (where pest management and nitrogen fixing have play).

Other "stuff" includes aquatic studies, or smart environments where Acme Farm Roombas navigate fields automatically with, say, groundhog zapping water jets. An early test relied upon GPS and gyroscopes for locational awareness of "automated tractors which could not "detect all obstacles [state.mn.us] ". Wireless sensors could improve efficacy. Calling Cyberdyne!

And those whiny Ficus can go back to state government lobbies where they belong.

my car talks to me (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548318)

At the end of each week it says "feed me more gas". And if I dont it makes aloud sputter and stops moving.

And all for only $150.00! (1)

53cur!ty (588713) | more than 6 years ago | (#22548576)

At $150.00 per unit (cost of materials) it is cheaper to just let your plants dies and replace them like I do. Or you could just buy plastic plants...

Little Shop of Horrors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22548990)

My plant's name is Audrey.

And she says, "FEED ME!"

Can "Cheap M1racle Gr0w M3ds!!!" (1)

PinchDuck (199974) | more than 6 years ago | (#22549248)

spam be far behind?

Insanely expensive, not "open source" (2, Insightful)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 6 years ago | (#22549694)

The Adafruit "shield" uses a $50 (yes, $50) Xport module, which is anything but "open source".

So. $10 for the circuit board, $50 for the module, and then another $30-$40 for the Adruino board.

That's $100 not including shipping...plus the cost of a wall-wart power supply ($10+), ethernet cable ($10-20) and an ethernet port (a couple more dollars- you can get hubs pretty cheap these days)

You could easily hit $150-200 on this project for just getting to know that 2 of your plants need water, something you can figure out by sticking your fucking finger in the soil each morning.

Re:Insanely expensive, not "open source" (1)

TheSync (5291) | more than 6 years ago | (#22552126)

The Xport Direct is cheaper, only $28. A full Xport is overkill.

For cats, too. (3, Funny)

autophile (640621) | more than 6 years ago | (#22549926)

Wake up. 5:30 am
I said, wake up. 5:31 am
Feed me. 6:30 am
Feed meh! 7:30 am
Feed me again. 7:40 am
No, not that, get me treats. 7:41 am
Feed me. 8:00 am
URGENT: Litterbox is full. 8:15 am
Piss off. 8:30 am
URGENT: Litterbox is rank. 8:31 am
Hey, where are you going? 8:32 am
Why are you going out the front door? 8:33 am
Feed me? 8:34 am
Feed me? 8:36 am
(sleeping) 8:38 am
(sleeping) 12:01 pm
(sleeping) 4:30 pm
(sleeping) 6:00 pm
HI! HI! WELCOME BACK! PET ME! 6:02 pm
Feed meh. 6:03 pm
URGENT: Litterbox is REALLY rank. 6:04 pm
I did not knock that over. 6:05 pm
Why you always can has blame me? I are too cute. 6:06 pm
Piss off. 6:10 pm
(sleeping) 6:11 pm
(sleeping) 9:00 pm
(sleeping) 12:10 am
Knockin' stuff off the countertops. 1:05 am
(sleeping) 2:00 am

Life imitates video games (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 6 years ago | (#22552256)

Now if we integrate that with an IM-like notification system we make real life one step closer to strategy games. I can already imagine how it looks like when you come back from a holiday and you forgot to check the "repeat assignment" box when you told your son to water the pants if neccessary:

"2008-08-12 17:49:50 [PLANT WATERED] The Coleus needed water and has been watered by Zachary."
"2008-08-12 17:49:50 [CHILD HAS COMPLETED ALL ASSIGNMENTS] Zachary has completed his assignments. His assignment queue is currently empty."
"2008-08-14 06:21:32 [PLANT NEEDS WATER] The Coleus's soil humidity is low. Watering is neccessary."
"2008-08-14 22:35:27 [PLANT NEEDS WATER] The Coleus's soil humidity is critical. Without immediate watering the plant will wither."
"2008-08-15 04:33:08 [PLANT HAS WITHERED] The Coleus has withered from lack of water."

What do plants crave (1)

jkirby (97838) | more than 6 years ago | (#22552908)

Are they asking for Brawndo?

Actually - title is incorrect (1)

no-body (127863) | more than 6 years ago | (#22554124)

It's not plants telling when to get watered/fed etc. It's humans simulating (guessing) what plants need and "imposing" it to plants.

If you read the book "The Secret Life of Plants" (or get a chance to watch the movie - "perhaps" can be found online) things may look different under that aspect.

It was actually tried - as documented in this book - to put sensors on plants and let THEM trigger when to get watered or to get light. Source: Reports of the USSR Academy of Sciences for 1959, "Kamaranov" published "The Application of Automation and Cybernetics to Plant Husbandry".

Mean green mother from outer space (1)

popmaker (570147) | more than 6 years ago | (#22555638)

I got this thing hooked up to my plant and it actually started singing:

Better wait a minute.
Ya better hold the phone.
Ya better mind your manners.
Better change your tone.

Don't you threaten me son.
You got a lot of gall.
We gonna do things my way.
Or we won't do things at all.

Ya don't know what you're messin' with.
You got no idea.
Ya don't know what you're lookin' at
When you're lookin' here.br Ya don't know what you're up against,
No, no way, no how.
You don't know what you're messin' with,
But I'm gonna tell you now!

Get this straight!
I'm just a mean green mother from outer space
and I'm bad.
I'm just a mean green mother from outer space
and it looks like you been had.
I'm just a mean green mother from outer space,
So get off my back, 'n get out my face,
'Cause I'm mean and green
And I am bad.

This thing must be malfunctioning somehow... I wanted to talk to my roommate about it, but she's been missing for a couple of weeks.

Oh man (1)

malkir (1031750) | more than 6 years ago | (#22564184)

This setup + twitter + internet controlled watering/lighting system = remote weed growhouses with minimal work. NICE!
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