Some of us here at DFRobot have been looking for a way to grow a vegetable garden, and automate some other processes in our house along the way. Living in a big city like Shanghai, there is always something to do, or somewhere to be. This makes it difficult to reliably water and maintain your plants at home. So we have slowly begun to create custom parts for our auto watering system, we have found some neat concepts on the Internets which we have chosen to incorporate in our project.
Barry, our in house Mechanical Engineer, pictured above giving a presentation at XinCheJian our local hacker space, is leading the "AutoEco sys" project. Using a single micro controller we can control how much natural sun light our plants get by controlling some curtains, and of course some UV lights, which are triggered by a relay connected to the microcontroller. The project will also control a small water pump to feed the plants when they are thirsty. The moisture level of the plants will be monitored by a moisture sensor.
With this AutoEco sys we can ensure our plants grow a long healthy life.
With the addition of an Xboard microcontroller, it is possible to add a few other sensors to the system and connect the whole thing to the internet to provide essential information to the user, and to let the user manually change the environment if he feels the need to alter it.