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Growing Flowers Digitally With Raspberry Pi and Arduino

Floral Automaton” is a sculptural device by British designer Thomas Grogan that grows flowers digitally. What this means is that four monitors arranged within a steel frame show 4K time-lapse videos of flowers blooming, at a rate that corresponds to outside conditions in real-time.

“Floral Automaton explores how environments become programmable and are made to be operational through sensor technologies.” (📷: Thomas Grogan)

The installation, meant as a response to the trend toward “environmental programmability and computational environments,” reacts and adapts to actual environmental data via sensors placed outside that obtain data on ambient CO2, temperature, humidity, and luminosity levels.

Each of these components are programmed to preserve a balanced meteorological condition in order to display ‘4K time-lapse videos’ of blooming flowers. (📷: Thomas Grogan)

This data is transmitted wirelessly to a Raspberry Pi, which controls the installation with the help of an Arduino Uno and a MOSFET board. When conditions are right for growth, the flowers onscreen bloom faster. When they aren’t, the device takes actions that attempt to “compensate” for the environment, such as floodlights that become brighter when it gets darker outside and speakers that play bird sounds louder when CO2 levels increase.

A Raspberry Pi is the brains of the installation. (📷: Thomas Grogan)

You can read more on Floral Automaton here, and watch Grogan explain the project a bit more below.

[h/t: Creative Applications]

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