Let's Make Robots!

My first solo bot

monitors soil moisture level and waters when needed

Before i start let me just say please excuse the really crappy name lol i made this account 3 years ago.

This is my first robot (i have built the SHR (3 years ago :/) but i followed the instructions to the letter and haven't made any changes so was no point in posting :)). basically i've just broken up from college and had nothing to do then i remembered a project i was going to do a while ago where moisture in soil was monitored and when it became dry a servo would be triggered to release water when there was enough water the servo would shut off the water :) well i did some research, came back to this website and discovered arduino. i then found i understood arduino code better than PIC so i ordered the stuff two days ago and wrote the program for my device last night. after receiving the parts this morning i quickly set about getting everything connected and uploaded my code. to my amazement it actually worked (a few kinks here and there but it worked) i got it to do almost exactly what i wanted it to first time (the code is so simple in comparison to what most of you guys do but its my first time writing my own code) :)

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That's pretty slick.  What sort of sensor do you use to monitor the soil?  Does the servo open some kind of valve(if so what)?  Also, how do you measure the amount of water released, by time?

the sensor is just two pieces of metal (in the picture i'm using the two loose ends as my conductors) connected to pin A0 and ground that are shoved in the soil :) i'm yet to see if it works outside (probably won't but i'll sort that when i get there) but it definitely works in potted plants. the servo for now will simply bend a piece of tubing hopefully i'll get a valve at some point but for now they're too expensive. and the water is released until the soil is wet enough to carry the current from one metal conductor to the other :)

Hey, congratulations! Can you post some more info (pictures, description, maybe even video) about your project? 

Sounds cool.

I think you'll find that the two-nails-in-the-soil approach may work for "dry" vs. "wet" measurements (after some in situ calibration), but it might not serve your needs if you're looking for quantitative measurements over long periods or in multiple locations.

Soil science is what brought me to this site, actually.  I was designing a DIY soil monitoring station to test a couple of soil hypothesisesesesess and wanted to look at options for stand-alone microprocessors.  Then I got sucked back into hobby electroincs and distracted by flashing LEDs, 4-bar linkages and fire.  The guys on the soil forum are probably wondering where I am.

The up-side of being sidetracked is that I learned about the Seeedstudio birthday sale and picked up several Stalker boards to be the brains of my soil monitoring system - when I get back to it.  Unfortunatelty my daughters prefer these fun projects over soil & turf measurements.

Hi, very interesting project,these are different from wheels and track one. Would that go under 'Something Else' rather than robot? I will keep an eye on your project, I might need something like that soon with the very hot summer we have. Thanks for posting :)


thanks ignoblegnome i'll try to get some up on monday :)

Cactus: yea i wanted to keep it as simple as possible. at the moment i'm not really interested in how much water there is in the ground just whether or not the plant needs watering but once i finish and i've got some more coding knowledge under my belt i may just revisit this bot :)

Korel: thank you for the interest. i'm not entirely sure what the 'code of conduct' is when posting here i haven't been on this site for quite a while but if enough people suggest moving it and someone is willing to tell me how (if its my job to do so) then i'll happily do it :).