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Choice of Components

For the output, in order to design an ambient display showing plant status, I decided to go with sound (piezo) and light (LED light) elements, since they are easier to relate to the emotions, making it suitable to express the characteristic of a plant friend. As for the input, I choose a FSR sensor to detect the action of user pressing the button as a trigger, a photoresistor to detect the level of sunlight, and a DIY moisture sensor to detect the level of soil moisture.

Choice of Technical Approaches

Since I would like to enhance the bonding and communication between user and the plant, I originally decided to use DialogFlow to create a chatbot that enables you to chat with your plant via social platforms like Facebook Messenger, Slack, etc. But you will need to chat with your plant by staring at your screen, which seems to be unhealthy and a little unnatural/indirect in a desired scenario as talking to a friend. So I go with the idea of "calling your plant" by phone so you can literally talk to your plant friend.

The next problem to be solved is how to link DialogFlow with Particle. I tried to connect them directly with IFTTT but they don't have DialogFlow as one of the supporting application. Then I tried with Microsoft Flow but the "receiving HTTP request" trigger is only in the premium version. So I landed on connecting Particle to Google Sheets via IFTTT, then linking Google Sheets to DialogFlow with its Inline Editor.

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