Archie Roques
Published © GPL3+

IoT Tweeting Plants with Raspberry Pi

In this project, you'll build a device which tweets pictures and conditions of an IKEA VÄXER hydroponic garden for remote monitoring.

BeginnerProtip5 hours3,594
IoT Tweeting Plants with Raspberry Pi

Things used in this project

Hardware components

Raspberry Pi Zero
Raspberry Pi Zero
Any other model could be used, if you like.
USB hub with Ethernet and Micro USB connector
Use one with a full-size USB if you're not using a Pi Zero. You could also use a normal USB hub and a WiFi adapter, if you'd like.
Enviro pHAT
Pimoroni Enviro pHAT
USB Webcam - most will work
See the above link for compatible cameras.
Adafruit SD Card with Raspbian
You can also flash your own.
IKEA VÄXER Hydroponics Kit
This is what I mounted mine to. If you want to monitor something else, then you don't need one of these.
Adafruit 2x20 GPIO header

Software apps and online services

Raspberry Pi Raspbian

Hand tools and fabrication machines

Keyboard and Mouse
Pi Zero Adapters
Soldering iron (generic)
Soldering iron (generic)


Read more


This is the brains behind the operation - it takes the picture, checks the conditions and tweets it all. Copy it to the desktop as described in the tutorial.
#imports the time module (used for waiting)
import time
#imports the datetime module (used to get the current mintue)
from datetime import datetime
#imports all parts of the envirophat module
from envirophat import *
#imports the OS module, which we use for executing the command to take the picture
import os

#blinks leds to show working

def SetupTweepy():
    #this imports the tweepy module (twitter for python)
    import tweepy
    #this sets up all the variables tweepy needs to use
    consumer_key = 'yours_goes_here'
    consumer_secret = 'yours_goes_here'
    access_token = 'yours_goes_here'
    access_token_secret = 'yours_goes_here'
    #this runs the authentication process
    auth = tweepy.OAuthHandler(consumer_key, consumer_secret)
    auth.set_access_token(access_token, access_token_secret)
    #this allows us to tweet from within a different function
    global api
    api = tweepy.API(auth)
    #lets us know it's all running well
    print("Tweepy Setup Done!")

def TweetText(texttotweet, medialoc):
    #tells us if we've asked it to tweet something to big, to avoid tweepy errors
    if len(texttotweet) > 144:
        print("text too long for a tweet!")
        return False
        #this actually tweets the text
        api.update_with_media(medialoc, status=texttotweet)
        #tells us what it's tweeted
        print" \" %s \" tweeted!" % (texttotweet)
        return True

def TweetConditions(addlmessage):
    #sets up an empty variable for the text to tweet to be stored in
    tweet = str()
    #adds the additional text (like motion detected)
    tweet += addlmessage
    #adds the light level to the tweet
    tweet += ("Light level: " + str(light.light()))
    #adds the temperature
    tweet += (", Temperature: " + str(round(weather.temperature(), 1)) + " C")
    #adds the pressure
    tweet += (", Pressure: " + str(round(weather.pressure(), 0)) + " hPa")
    '''If you want to add additional analogue sensors connected
    to the analogue header on the Enviro pHAT, then add this line:
    tweet += ("<<your value name here>>: " + your_analog_value_here)
    You will need to map your value from between 0 and 3.3v to a
    value that people will understand (like degrees C for example)
    more info on this in Pimoroni's tutorial, at'''

    #executes a command line command to take a picture
    os.system("cd Desktop\nsudo fswebcam image.jpg")
    #sleep for half a min to give it time to do all its picturey stuff

    #sets the media variable to the location of the media
    media = "/home/pi/Desktop/image.jpg"    
    #sends this to the function that sends and checks the tweet
    TweetText(tweet, media)

#sets all needed variables to initial values:
#the threshold for detecting whether something was moved (change this if it seems
#to be moved all the time)
threshold = 0.3
#an empty list to store acceleroneter values in
readings = []
#defaults the last Z reading to 0
last_z = 0
#sets up minutes as a global so it can be accessed anywhere
global mins
#sets minutes to the current mintue
mins = ('%M'))
#defaults motion detected to false
motiondetected = False
#splits the RGB values into 3 separate variables
r, g, b = light.rgb()

#runs the tweepy setup code

#do the following forever
while True:
    #if it's at one of the 15 minute intervals:
    if mins == "00" or mins == "15" or mins == "30" or mins == "45":
        print("Reached an interval:, ", mins)
        #if it has been moved, add that to the tweet and send it
        if motiondetected:
            TweetConditions("Ow! Someone moved me! ")
        #if the temp is above 32C, then add that to the tweet and send it
        elif (round(weather.temperature(), 1)) > 32:
            TweetConditions("Woah - it's hot in here! ")
        #if the blue light is greater than all others, add that to the tweet and send it
        elif b > r and b > g:
            TweetConditions("There seems to be a lot of blue light at the moment. ")
        #if the red light is greater than all others, add that to the tweet and send it
        elif r > b and r > g:
            TweetConditions("There seems to be a lot of red light at the moment. ")
        #if the green light is greater than all others, add that to the tweet and send it
        elif g > r and g > b:
            TweetConditions("There seems to be a lot of green light at the moment. ")
        #if nothing notable has happened, just send a plain old tweet
        #wait a minute to avoid more than one tweet going out
        #update the minutes again to avoid a neverending loop
        mins = "1"
        mins = ('%M'))
        #reset motiondetected back to false
        motiondetected = False
    #if it's not time to tweet:
        #this next part is adapted from Pimoroni's example. It detects if the plants were disturbed.
        readings = readings[-4:]
        z = sum(readings) / len(readings)
        if last_z > 0 and abs(z-last_z) > threshold:
            motiondetected = True
        last_z = z
        #updates the RGB light values
        r, g, b = light.rgb()
        #sets minutes to the current mintue
        mins = ('%M'))

This just launches the python code. It should be used as described in the tutorial.
cd /
cd /home/pi/Desktop
sudo python
cd /


Archie Roques

Archie Roques

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