Orchid Keeper Project Overview

28 Nov 2017

This next series of posts will document the creation of a system to use for monitoring the soil moisture, ambient humidity and other environmental events for my orchids.

As background, I get an orchid plant from my mother-in-law every year on my aniversary. Some of the orchids have lived and some have died over the years. The leading cause of death of a captive orchid is improper humidity and watering.

The Orchid Keeper system shall consist of an Arduino based set of soil moisture sensors and ambient enviornment sensors (to measure temperature and humidity in the windowsill) transmitted via BTLE to an iOS app that will be able to record information about the orchids and help me keep a log of the health of each one.

The goal of this project is:

  • design a hardware device for measuring environmental factors for plants
  • create an iOS app that commuicates with the hardware device via BTLE to gather the data
  • explore various aspects of iOS development (BTLE, camera, notifications, etc.) as practice
  • open source the hardware and the iOS code but also put the iOS code in the App Store and sell the hardware
  • generate ideas and material for conference talks

Posts in this series will generally follow this sequence:

  1. Creating the arduino based monitoring device
  2. Creating the iOS app to gather the data
  3. Modifying the iOS app to record the data for each orchid
  4. Updating the arduino based device with more features/chips/sensors
  5. Updating the iOS app to collect the new data
  6. Polish the iOS app to enhance the log of the life of each orchid
  7. Polish the iOS app to explore features of iOS and the devices as opportunities arise
  8. Prepare the iOS app and the hardware for sale