Make your houseplants smile with ATtiny85

This simple sensor can tell you exactly how your plants “feel.”

Faced with hectic schedules, it is often easy for us to forget to water our favorite plants. Typically the strong and silent type, plants likely won’t notify you when they are in need of a drink or some nutrients. However, that may all change after one Maker’s clever Atmel based design which now provides plant owners with a visual representation of just how their plant is feeling.


“Thanasisloi7” hooked an ATtiny85 to a soil hydrometer sensor that analyzes the current moisture within the plants soil. When the soil is properly watered, an LED matrix displays a happy face. Conversely, when the soil moisture falls below a specified level, the smiling face disappears. Thus, any plant owner with common sense can know when to replenish the pot’s water supply.


Though just a simple project, this quick design will make sure you never let your plants go thirsty again. As they say, a smile is worth a thousand words. Looking to build a better bond with your plants? Check out his official project page here.

This isn’t the first time once-ordinary objects have been transformed into “sentient beings.” Last summer, digital agency Soap Creative launched Cars That Feel, an interactive festival installation designed with Toyota. The project featured a number of cars, each of which boasted their own personality and connected with people via light projections, color and sound. The vehicles were equipped six internal BenQ projectors, Atmel powered controllers and high intensity LED light rigs. Meanwhile, a custom app was tasked with controlling internal projection mapping, lighting, sound and animation.

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