GrowCube: Smart Plant Watering.
The folks at Elecrow are kicking off a Kickstarter for their latest GrowCube product. GrowCube is a “smart automatic watering kit” that uses humidity sensors connected to the GrowCube app to alert you when your plant needs water. GrowCube will automatically water up to four of your plants.
You may remember the Elecrow from our review of the CrowPi2, a Raspberry Pi laptop that includes a staggering array of features for gaming, coding, and creating interactive electronic objects. Elecrow clearly has some creative engineers and they came up with another innovative product.
We had the opportunity to try GrowCube to see if it lived up to the ads. We’ll walk you through what GrowCube does, what you get when you buy it, and share our thoughts on its quality and performance.
What Comes in the GrowCube Box?
Inside the GrowCube package you will find:
1 GrowCube4 soil moisture sensors4 nozzles1 water pipe 10 m long1 filter head12 brackets< /li>1 water pipe cutter1 power adapter1 user manual
The GrowCube itself measures 180x170x100mm and is powered by a 12V/2A power supply. The water tank can hold up to 1.5 liters, which Elecrow says should last 15 days for four plant pots.
You can also download the GrowCube app available for both iOS and Android.
What Does the GrowCube Do?
In a world where IoT devices are becoming more commonplace, we are constantly asking ourselves, “Does this object really need to be connected to the Internet?” For GrowCube, the answer is a resounding “Yes!” While you can use GrowCube without an internet connection, you will need to have it connected to the internet to get the most out of this product.
Essentially, GrowCube does four things:
Provides data on the soil moisture level of your plants.Automatically water plants with the appropriate amount of water.Records data on soil moisture, watering operations and ambient temperature in the plant diary.Gives you access to an extensive database of plants and their maintenance.
How to Use the GrowCube
The initial setup of GrowCube is quick and easy. After installing the filter inside the tank, connect one of the soil moisture sensors to the back of the GrowCube. Insert the other end into the soil. The User Guide provides some tips and tricks for the optimal placement of soil moisture sensors.
Then cut the water pipe to the desired length. It must extend from the plant to the GrowCube. Then connect the nozzle to the water pipe and place the nozzle at the base of the plant. You want the water coming out of the nozzle to reach the roots of your plant, so place it at soil level next to the stem. Make sure the tiny holes in the nozzle are pointing down into the soil. Otherwise, water will splash out of the pot. You can use brackets to position the attachment.
After placing the sensors and attachments, fill the GrowCube with water and turn on the power. You will see red and blue lights flashing alternately. This means that GrowCube is waiting for you to set up the network.
Install the application and select the connection mode
The next step is to install the GrowCube app on your iOS or Android device. GrowCube has two modes: direct connection mode and network mode. They recommend a network mode that connects to your Wi-Fi network. If you are using online mode, you will be able to add multiple GrowCubes and control them all through the app.
If you don’t have Wi-Fi, you can use the direct connection mode, which allows your phone to connect directly to the GrowCube. However, if you are using direct connection mode, your phone will not connect to the Internet via WiFi. That’s why we chose online mode.
We had no problems setting up network mode through the GrowCube app. It was just as easy to add plants to the app. You can give a name to every plant connected to GrowCube. Enter each plant’s information into the app and GrowCube will automatically add information from its plant database, such as optimal soil moisture levels. If it can’t find the plant in its database, you can manually enter your desired soil moisture range.
Once you’ve added your plants to the GrowCube app, you can relax and be sure your plants are getting the right amount of water. When the water level gets low, the app will display a reminder to refill the tank. The app will also alert you if any water pipes are blocked or any sensors are disabled.
Add an External Water Supply
GrowCube includes several advanced features that we think will be really useful. If the water tank is not enough for your plants, you can connect the GrowCube to an external water source.
How Does the GrowCube Perform?
Overall, the GrowCube appears to be a quality product, especially the tube, which is a good thing because this is the most likely point of failure for the entire system. We suspect that the tube is made of silicone. With lower quality tubing, you will have to heat it up to make sure it doesn’t leak. With GrowCube, this is not necessary. Also, the water pipe cutter works very well.
The hardest part about setting up the GrowCube is making sure the tiny nozzle holes are pointing into the soil.
The connectors on the back of the GrowCube are magnetic plugs. The connector has a notch so it only works one way. You will immediately understand if you put it wrong. The magnetic connector also means that if you unplug the cord, the GrowCube itself won’t fall off or spill water.
The automatic watering system did exactly what it promised and after a week of use our plant looked healthier than ever. It’s possible that we didn’t water it enough before, and GrowCube fixed that.
Overall, we like GrowCube. At least we’ll use it to water a few plants while we’re out of town. Not everyone will want all those tubes and sensor cords to be visible among their plants, let alone the GrowCube itself, but if that doesn’t bother you, buy this product.
GrowCube: Smart Plant Watering
GrowCube: Smart Plant Watering