The Robotic Gardener is an early look into automating gardening. Currently the garden waters itself and keeps track of plant maturity. The proof of concept shows that the user is only required to do planting and picking when the garden is kept indoors. In addition to making gardening easier and less time consuming, it also aims to be environmentally friendly. The smart watering system only waters when necessary. The drip-line delivers water directly to the roots and prevents loss due to evaporation. The bucket simulates the use of a water barrel, which promotes the use of recycled water. Future work may include automating the planting and harvesting processes, expanding the web interface to include statistics and using a solar panel and battery to power the electronics.

My friend, Mark, and I have been intrigued by the idea of automating gardening and farming for a while. Last semester we learned about the Digi Green Design Contest. The goals of the contest aligned well with our project, so we ordered a couple of the wireless zigbee development kits that were made available for the contest. over the next few months, we added a teammate, built the planter and wrote code for the project. Through this project I learned a lot about plant growing cycles, electronics, web development and programming.

Check out the demo