What is GardenBot?
GardenBot is an open source garden monitoring system. This site is a collection of tutorials for how to build things (like a soil moisture sensor), software for running GardenBot, resources, links, and more.
To get started, you will want to browse the How-To section to see what is required
to build the various modules.
The ultimate goal of the GardenBot project is to be a complete
garden monitoring and automation
system. A key design consideration is to keep everything as easy
as possible -- especially for users new to Arduino and DIY electronics
GardenBot is currently a work in progress, and we are always looking for volunteers -- please contact me if you'd like to help. This project is built upon open source technology, so it is free to be
used and modified in any way you see fit (provided you adhere to GardenBot's license).
Just so you know, there are several (many) other garden automation
projects out there on the web. Some commercial, some open source. You
explore around (see these
Is GardenBot a robot?
The word robot usually is used for machines that move about. But consider this... even
though it does not move, GardenBot is a robot.
It is a robot in the same way a plant is a
living organism. It is a slow, quiet robot. It is a robot that is
threaded through your house like a plant threads its roots through the
soil. GardenBot is formed to fit its function.
came up with this?
I did... er, I mean hi. My name is Andrew
Frueh. Me and my
wife, Melissa, like
to garden a lot. We're always experimenting with different methods in
our garden and compost. We already were using a soaker hose for our
garden. Last year, we used one of those
to turn the soaker on for a pre-determined amount of time.
I discovered Arduino,
and immediately became engrossed. Arduino is a little computer (called
microcontroller) about the size of a business card. It has a bunch of
analog and digital inputs/outputs so you can hook up various sensors,
buttons, switches, audio/video devices -- it's pretty friggin' cool.
See the parts page for more information.
Anyway, considering my interests, I thought "gee, it sure would be neat
to use the Arduino board to control the watering in the garden". But
then one thing led to another... and now we get to the (somewhat
complete) GardenBot system that you have before you.
a lot of DIY-ers, I am entirely self-trained. So, there are a lot of
holes in my knowledge. As I hunted around for information on the web, I
found that too often the information in various tutorials was written
by someone who failed to remember that lay-people (incidentally the
target audience for any tutorial) don't know the jargon, and therefor
can have great difficulty in decoding the information. One of my goals
with this project, is to have all the pieces laid out in plain language
-- step by step -- to walk you through the whole process. Hopefully I
pull that off.
feel free to start exploring. The How-To
section has many tutorials on how to build your own garden automation
system. Maybe you'll want to try building your
own GardenMonitor. And if you run into any snags, you are welcome to contact me with question /
I am very much interested in making GardenBot as flexible as possible.
I don't have time to explore every option myself (a few too
many cans of worms), but if you
or anyone you know would like to build optional modules using a cool
technology, please contact me.
- wireless modules to connect to sensors in the garden
- solar power
- Twitter / Facebook / etc. to send updates of conditions in your
Links out to
garden automation projects on the web
Links to GardenBot on the web
Here is a list of other garden automation/monitoring projects out there
web. This list is not comprehensive. If you have such a project, please
contact me, and I will add your name to the
Andrew Frueh retains the rights to all content (i.e. graphics and
tutorials) in the GardenBot project.
by Andrew Frueh is licensed under a Creative
Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
Of course, each piece of pre-existing software / hardware (i.e.
Arduino, Processing, Flash, etc.) which has been incorporated into
GardenBot retains its respective license.