Botanicalls is a project by students at the NYU Interactive Telecommunications Program. It’s “a system that was developed to allow plants to place phone calls for human help. When a plant on the Botanicalls network needs water, it can call a person and ask for exactly what it needs. When people phone the plants, the plants orient callers to their habits and characteristics.” Botanicalls Twitter DIY is a version for Twitter so your plants can send Twitter updates when they need water, or send you their thanks.
According to the site, the system provides five different status updates, based on the plant’s current conditions:
1. When the moisture level of the plant’s soil drops below the satisfactory threshold, it will send a status update that the plant needs to be watered.
2. If the soil moisture drops below a critical level the plant will twitter that it is urgently in need of watering.
3. Any rapid rise in soil moisture will be detected as a watering event. The plant will then determine if the soil moisture has risen to the desired level for a proper watering. If it has, then it will twitter its thanks.
4. If a watering event occurs, but the soil moisture has not reached the desired level, the plant will twitter to report that it was watered, but not sufficiently.
5. Likewise, if a watering event occurs, but the plant was not in need of water yet, the plant will twitter to complain that it is being over watered.
Check the site for detailed steps on what hardware and software you’ll need to build your own. If you’ve set this up, definitely let me know in the comments. I love this! Time for a trip to Radio Shack and Ace Hardware.