Many people use their time outdoors to get away from technology for a while; this month's Project14 theme, Going Green, challenges you to use awesome technology FOR your outdoors space, whether it's your backyard garden, front lawn, or even a hanging planter, for those apartment dwellers like me. What types of things do you like to do outdoors, and how can tech be used to make your outdoor experiences more memorable? How can you do the things you love in the summer while using technology to enrich the experience? Check out these past element14 projects and get inspired to begin your own Project14 submission!
Pieter Blok had a classic problem: how to take care of his plants while he was on vacation. And if you're from element14, the answer there isn't to buy a friend dinner and ask them; it's to use your skills - with some help from Arduino - to keep those azaleas healthy. The system can be monitored with an iOS app, tracks the moisture level in the plants, and it even plots that status over time. The household fern never had it so good.
Because there are usually different routes you can take to get to the same ultimate solution, let's check out another method for caring for your plants remotely! luislabmo based his on the SparkFun Blynk board, which reads sensors that monitor sunlight, soil moisture, and the level of water in a reservoir. SparkFun's Blynk app provides the control from your mobile device. Check out Luis's detailed video for step-by-step instructions on this excellent project, for which he even 3D printed a nifty enclosure.
Apparently, at one point in history some people thought that eating raw tomatoes was dangerous? That is crazy, because tomatoes are both good for you and absolutely delicious. janisalnis is a fellow tomato enthusiast, and he won the Internet of the Backyard Design Challenge with his automated tomato greenhouse, based on the Texas Instruments SimpleLink Wi-Fi Launchpad. Armed with the knowledge of the ideal temperature for tomato growth, Alnis set up IoT monitoring and control of his greenhouse, with some very tasty results that you can see above along with all the excellent technical detail.
When exactly your grass has gotten too long and needs to be cut is sort of a matter of taste, but that doesn't mean you can't go all Internet of Things on this issue. BigG sure did, as he designed a system to monitor his grass powered by a TI Launchpad and Plot.ly to track the data. He also addresses the pitfalls you can run into with an outdoors project, with simple and practical solutions.
A person with a proper green thumb can take one quick look at their plants and know how they're doing, but some of us need help wherever we can get it. Luckily, gpolder combined his expertise and the Raspberry Pi 8MP camera to create a system for monitoring the health of his plants. Through clever filtering of the camera images you can determine if vegetation is likely to healthy or sparse, so you won't have to be experienced in the garden to know when your help is needed.
These are just a few excellent examples of outdoorsy element14 projects from the past; use the search bar above to find more, and get started on your own for the Going Green competition!
Step 2: Post in the comments section below to begin a discussion on your idea. Videos, pictures and text are all welcomed forms of submission.
Step 3: Submit a blog post of your progress on your project by the end of the month. You are free to submit as many blog entries as you like until the beginning of the next theme.
You have until August 14th, 12:00 AM CDT to enter.
Be sure to include video proof of your project!