Happy Halloween...this week: primitive attempt at inter-species communication yields spooky results. Can plants talk?
I made the hello.step-response board but I modified the 1M resistor to be 10khz and loaded my hello.plant.asm (really just a modified version of hello.light.45.asm).
Thanks to Boris' tip on the cadletters library I customized my board with a plant text label. As a result of adding this in I also got curved traces instead of the right-angled ones (looks nice!)
For the sensor I experimented with various kinds of conductive nails. I choose stainless steel which worked quite well. I am measuring resistance in the soil of the plant. If the resistance is high, plant soil is dry and it just might want to let you know it's thirsty somehow.
Learning the basics.. Ohm's Law, Voltage Dividers, Assembly...so many people helped as usual. Thanks to Jalonso, Laurel, Mellis, Gershon, Edwina, Cranor and JB for all their tips.
I mapped the output of the sensor first to the pitch control of a square-wave oscillator. The resistance was pretty steady so I rescaled it for more interesting effect.
I used Touch FTE (free-thinking environment) to process the signals.
plant to oscillator
I eventually decided to remap the signal to index into a library of English phonemes I recorded. Why not encourage the plant to speak? They seem pretty smart and even though this experiment didn't get too far, I still wonder what I might discover if I put more than a week into it. In this case, the plant would randomly select English phonemes. I'm still on standby with some plant fertilizer as a reward for the plant if it ever "decides" to say something coherent...
plant to phonemes
One future direction could be to implement a statistical distribution curve for phoneme selection. Additionally, I'm very interested in developing a mechanism for detecting signal distribution over root networks. Let's not forget: plants operate on a very different time scale. I'm sure they have something interesting to say.
Listen up humans!