Hypa Watering System

Hypa is an automated watering system I have built to keep my green friends hydrated.

My PhD working activities are mainly based in Turin. However, I am from Castrovillari, a twenty-thousand people town in southern Italy, where I love to spend my holidays, close to my family. Every time, a problem arises: how do I keep my green friends hydrated?

So, I built Hypa, an automatic watering system featuring some hardware:

  • an Ikea trash bin as the water reservoir;
  • a cheap plastic tube with holes drilled with a hot solder;
  • a single capacitive moisture sensor (yeah, I approximate the global moisture with the one from the first pot);
  • a cheap 5V pump
  • an Arduino Uno to read the analog moisture value and serialized it via USB
  • a Raspberry PI 3B+ to orchestrate and expose on the web the system
  • (latest extension) a USB web camera to stream and record using motion

The system is entirely handled through a WiFi-enabled Raspberry Pi. It runs several pieces of Python code:

  • a script polls the serial USB connection to read moisture values and write them to a CSV file along with a timestamp
  • another script can be run asynchronously to power the water pump for a given amount of seconds <– here the magic happens!
  • there is also a Dash web UI prototype to display the moisture level over time (I left that as a WIP component, as I don’t always use the moisture sensor, especially when the camera is on)

Finally, The raspi is connected to a dedicated ZeroTier One private network to communicate with the Raspi remotely over SSH. Since I’m bad at remembering stuff, there is a scheduled cron job that activates the pump every Thursday and friday night.

🪴 Back to that day, I was trying to keep alive three varieties of chili pepper: cayenne, jalapeños and habanero chocolate, plus an Orchidea and an Aphelandra (zebra plant).

Feel free to go through the code or the gallery (I’ll try to keep them udpdate with tips and suggestions).

Giuseppe Attanasio
Giuseppe Attanasio
Postdoctoral Researcher