Raspberry Pi Pico W Gives Your Plant Emotions with Face Animations

Raspberry Pi
(Image credit: Penguin Pranav)

If you don’t have a green thumb, that doesn’t mean you can’t build one. Keeping your plants happy can be tricky, especially when they each have different requirements. This Raspberry Pi project, created by a maker known as Penguin Pranav over at Medium, has created a system called EmoPot that not only monitors his plants but gives it some personality by animating faces using a Raspberry Pi Pico W.

EmoPot can display up to 8 unique faces that respond to environmental factors like temperature and moisture levels. Because it’s a Pico W, it has wireless support which allows it to act as an IoT device. In this case, it integrates with Blynk to determine the conditions of the plant so it knows exactly which face to use.

It has happy and sad faces for good and bad conditions. A blank face can be used for neutral data. If it’s too hot you can expect a sweating and stressed face to appear while the cold will generate a chilly expression with visible teeth. If you need to add water, a thirsty face will show up with a tongue sticking out. There’s even a vampire face thrown in for fun. Pranav also included a special rain cloud animation that can appear over top of any of the faces.

The unit is powered entirely by a Raspberry Pi Pico W. It outputs the faces to a TFT LCD display module. We’re not sure how things like moisture and temperature levels are monitored but it wouldn’t be hard to integrate something like a moisture sensor to pull the data you need. Separate modules would be necessary for each plant you want to monitor.

Pranav is using a display library called ILI9341 to generate the faces. It allows you to create graphics out of basic shapes which is how he designed the various expressions. Blynk is used for the IoT functionality. This is an IoT platform in which he can monitor things like temperature, humidity, the moisture level in the soil as well as sunlight and health. You can find more details about the project over at GitHub.

If you want to recreate this Raspberry Pi project or just get a closer look at how it goes together, check out the full project breakdown over at Medium.

Ash Hill
Freelance News and Features Writer

Ash Hill is a Freelance News and Features Writer at Tom's Hardware US. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting.