My family is very into gardening; the daily tending to some vegetable plants in our backyard along with flowering plants in the front yard is something of a family ritual to take care of. In high school I could take care of my plants daily, but now so far from home I am unable to do so.
As I am still invested in the growth of my plants (grape, cherry tomato, eggplant), I wanted to construct some system to take care of plants automatically to not only remove the need to rely on my parents to care for my plants, but also get higher than usual yields.
This project is a class project (group of 3 members), using an Arduino as the heart of the system. By drawing information from multiple sensors, the plant is cared for in many ways. A light sensor determines the decreasing ambient light levels and switches on a full-spectrum LED to provide round the clock sunlight. Thermal sensors detect chilly conditions and switch on a heating system just for the plant to ensure optimal conditions are maintained. Finally, a soil hygrometer measures the moisture levels and waters the plant, checking multiple times per day to ensure the plant is always within acceptible ranges.
As this was a LabVIEW class project, this was done in LabVIEW and not Arduino IDE. This made for an interesting challenge for our group as we explored the capabilities of LabVIEW in the implementation of this project.