Meet Sproutly!

I’ve failed to properly take care of many plants I’ve had throughout the years. Forgetting to water them, leaving them too close to open windows during the winter, and forgetting what type of light settings they thrive in. I created Sproutly as a tool to improve my relationship with my plants and I hope that it’s something that is useful for you, too!

Sproutly consists of two main functions: it has a moisture and light sensor that will track the plant’s physical healthiness and a sound detection microphone that is installed to encourage you to speak with your plants. Speaking to your plants will help them thrive because we should all show them a little more love and care, AND the carbon dioxide emitted from your breath is crucial to their growth and survival.

The idea is that a light is connected to both sound and moisture sensors and the light will act as a visual notification system. Sproutly will remind you to speak with your plants twice a day and will also remind you when your plants need water. Additionally, it is an IoT object, so you will also get text notifications.

Materials Used:

Adafruit Feather HUZZAH with ESP8266

Electret Microphone Amplifier – MAX9814 with Auto Gain Control

Chirp! The Plant Watering Alarm

NeoPixel Stick – 8 x 5050 RGB LED with Integrated Drivers

Lithium Ion Polymer Battery – 3.7v 500mAh

Lots of wires

1/4″ Thick Translucent White Acrylic Sheet

This is a work in progress, and here are my next steps: 

  1. connect moisture sensor to feather huzzah and write code
  2. incorporate text reminders through IFTTT

IoT Arduino Exercises and Final Project Ideas

For my final project, I want to focus on making an IoT product that will help me take better care of my plants as a plant rookie. Below are my two proposals:


The first idea I have is to create plate that goes under your planter and has a flexible sensor coming out of the middle that sticks up and is embedded in the soil. The sensor will measure moisture levels and when you overwater your plant, it will turn pink and when your plant needs more water, the plate will remind you by turning blue.


The second idea I have is a light sensor that you can stick by a window or other areas of your home that will measure the light data in that corner and let you know what kind of plants are suitable to be placed in that area.

Wifi Connection 1:

Wifi Connection 2:

Huzzah LED test:


Halloween Costume Update — Helen, Wes, Felix

Here is an update on our journey of making our Tetris costumes from flat pieces of foam core to full-size Tetris blocks with LEDs programmed to fade in and out. We have a ton of process photos, so enjoy!

We traced our bodies on brown paper to figure out the measurements for our blocks that would fit all three of us:



Taking measurements to paper before cutting foam core:


From 2D to 3D—costume assembly and fitting phase:


Sewing straps to reinforce the internal structure and soldering LEDs:


Attaching long circuits of LEDs to the Tetris blocks:


Getting there!


Coding the LED fading functions:


Attaching circuit and Arduino inside the costumes:


Finishing touches:



Week 7—Costume Update: Helen, Wes, Felix

For this week, we made some progress on finalizing the materials we will be using for the Tetris structures, the LEDs setup, and the circuits. Below are some images from our brainstorming session as we await the arrival of our materials. We have quite a bit to do in terms of making but feel like we’ve moved forward in laying the fundamentals and excited to make this ASAP.


How we are programming the LED sections for the blocks.


Diffusion test with the foam core we will be using as the hard edge structure for our blocks.


Sketching for the backpack strap we are working on that will be integrated into the structure.


Halloween Costumes—Helen, Felix, Wes

For the Halloween costume project, I will be working n a group with Felix and Wes. We’re really excited to share our ideas!


No long explanation necessary. We wanted to be Tetris pieces that fit together and light up when the pieces are united!



We thought it would be fun make bug costumes that light up various anatomical features of each big through motion sensors. The ladybug’s polka dots on its wings would light up after you move your arms to spread the wings. Likewise, the firefly’s light sack would light up from wing movement. The bumblebee’s stinger will light up from wiggling your body.

Bug Busters


We wanted to explore light modulation and thought of interfaces for measurement. We came up with the idea to dress up as household appliances that contain those systems of measurement. We came up with the speaker (volume) and a microwave (time reading).

radio head


Week 5 Assignment

For this week’s assignment, I was able to get a deeper understanding of the world of electronics but was also initially confused by some of the new components we are incorporating into our circuit board in the Motor exercise, such as diodes and transistors (hoping we can go over them at some point). Another thing I had the opportunity to improve on was my soldering skills from the Neopixel light exercise. I look forward to incorporating these lights in future projects.

Here are videos of the exercises:

Blushing Gudetama—Work in Progress

Due to a personal emergency, my Blushing Gudetama plush toy is still a work in progress. I still need to finish the sewing portion of my plush toy and get the face embroidered but I really wanted to share my process with everyone. For the final project, please check back on the blog later tonight or early tomorrow morning for the finished product!

Lighting components
Diffusion method
I initially tried to connect the LEDs together by using 1 resistor and using one LED as the Input (positive side) and the other LED as the ground. It did NOT work
Now I added a resistor to each LED and wired them together. It worked! Excuse the soldering, I will be revising it to make the soldering connection stronger
Swanky Jaiks-Trug
Circuit diagram
It works! These lights will give Gudetama the blush effect.
IMG_6739 2
The egg!
Polyester furry fabric I’m using for the toy

Arduino Week 3 Exercises


This week’s Arduino exercises were definitely more challenging than the previous week’s, especially the final exercise of creating your own circuit function in Arduino. It took me a while to understand the coding syntax and the logical progression, but I came away with a deeper understanding of Arduino. Like last week, I still struggled occasionally with correctly inputing wires, resistors, and LEDs. With that said, I found that drawing out circuits in TinkerCad was super helpful for brainstorming and using it as a reference/second eye for the actual circuitry on the bread board.

Here are recordings of the exercises:

Digital Input:

Serial Monitor: 

LED on/off with two buttons:

And here is the code & TinkerCad circuit map:

// constants won’t change. They’re used here to set pin numbers:
const int ledPin = 13; // the number of the LED pin
const int buttonPin1 = 8; // the number of the on pushbutton pin
const int buttonPin2 = 7; // the number of the off pushbutton pin

// variables will change:
int buttonState1 = 0; // variable for reading the pushbutton status
int buttonState2 = 0;

void setup() {
// initialize the LED pin as an output:
pinMode(ledPin, OUTPUT);
// initialize the pushbutton pin as an input:
pinMode(buttonPin1, INPUT_PULLUP); //enable pull-up resistors
pinMode(buttonPin2, INPUT_PULLUP);

void loop() {
// read the state of the pushbutton value:
buttonState1 = digitalRead(buttonPin1);
buttonState2 = digitalRead(buttonPin2);

if (buttonState1 == LOW) {
digitalWrite(ledPin, HIGH); // turn LED OFF
} else if (buttonState2 == LOW) {
digitalWrite(ledPin, LOW); // turn LED ON

kSafe Lid Tear Down

For this assignment, I took apart the kSafe Time Lock Safe lid. The product is a plastic container with a lid that the user can set a timer with a large round dial button that activate a locking mechanism. I was curious to explore how the electronic and mechanical systems in this lid worked together to create this lock system. The shell of the lid is made of a hard red plastic with a top and bottom main piece pressed together securely, making the initial deconstruction rather difficult. I had to use a chisel and hammer to pry the two outer pieces of the lid open.

Process Shot 1

Here is a timelapse of how I disassembled the object after hammer the outer skeleton apart in the woodshop:

Object Parts:


  1. Bottom cover where mechanical gears are placed
  2. Top cover with dial button and digital screen frame
  3. Pieces of the slide-out lock mechanism
  4. AA batteries and battery cover
  5. Dial button
  6. Wheeltrain gear parts with large wheel and smaller wheel containing mechanical motor parts
  7. Digital screen and plastic cover that secured screen to control board.
  8. Control board with M430F412-REV microchip. Connected to touch sensor for button dial.


Process Shot 2Process Shot 3

Interesting Finds:

  1. I was surprised at how simple the electronic and mechanical setup of this object is, but it made it easier for me to track how the locking mechanism takes place and how all the components work together.
  2. I am interested in learning more about the touch sensor that activates the locking mechanism. It’s also connection to the digital output of the screen as the timer is set through turning the dial.