The Happy Flower
This project was carried out for the course Advanced Interface Design. We wanted to design an interactive system that enhance the relationship between a houseplant and its owner, where both are users of the system and are engaged in a ecological experience. We were inspired by the concept of homeostasis, a long tradition in cybernetics.
We create a device that is able to sense the environmental conditions that are essential for the plant survival. We chose for the prototype: humidity, sunlight and temperature. Two additional variables were also included to measure the emotional conditions that the plant experiments: proximity and music. We built the system over the basis of an Arduino board and a set of sensors.
Sensor inputs simulate physiological needs. Sensors are calibrated with a lower and higher threshold levels to simulate optimum life conditions. According to the type of plant we set its needs and a synthetic personality.
Then, we combine the environmental and emotional conditions with the personality of the flower to make the plant give a personalized output that tells the owner its states (both physical and emotional). So, the personality simulator models simulated anthropomorphic psychological behavior in plants based on Human-Plant interaction. The system performs periodical assessment of the system (short-term emotional states) and the events are compiled in a pre-defined timescale for long-term personality treats.