Jihyun Lee

//! creative technologist
about work code

Singing Plants

Fast Company
New York, NY
2013

Singing Plants play different musical notes depending how they are touched or grabbed. For example, when someone touches the stem the note is different than when they touch its outer leaves. The plant giggles when tickled close to its root.

This is inspired by a talk about how the world around us could be interactive by Ivan Poupyrev, former head of Disney Research, at Maker Faire in NYC and Disney Research lab’s Touché technology. Conductive materials like water, human bodies and plants carry frequencies whenever they are touched by human. Singing Plants uses paper clips hooked into the dirt of plants and connected to Arduino with copper wires. The Arduino and electrical components amplify the current that goes through the plants caused by human touch. Arduino encodes the current as raw data and Processing receives the data via serial communication and translates it to musical notes.

Later we experimented with Arduino Yún instead of the Uno. Since the Arduino Yún has its own Linux support, Linino, it can pretty much be treated as its own independent computer. By writing the music to the SD card, and adding a simple line of code, brought to our attention by Mikamai developers, we had music playing on your Yún within seconds, no Mac necessary. All we needed was a little USB Audio Adapter and compatible external batteries.

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Links
FastCompany

Toolkit
Arduino, Processing