Automic Orchidarium

2019-2020 Northern Arizona University
Electrical Engineering Capstone Project

Project Discription

This project aims to create a semi-self contained environment for the client’s orchids. The project will provide the client’s orchids with the ideal temperature range, a light source, water, fertilizer, and proper air circulation. Moreover, the client will be able to see their orchids whenever they want through a camera on an app or website, get notifications for when the water and fertilizer needs to be refilled and when the potting mix needs to be changed. The final product will be similar to a vivarium that can meet all of the requirements. Before starting the design process, the team conducted research on similar projects to help brainstorm new ideas.

Orchid Features

Orchids are sensitive plants that heavily depend on the surrounding environment which includes air humidity, soil moisture, temperature, and light.

Project Aims

Customers have the ability to ensure that their orchids are healthy and have everything they need to survive when they go out.

An Amazing Feature

The automatic control system will simulate an environment that can automatically control these conditions necessary for orchid growth to reducing the time that people will spend maintaining the plants.

Project Depiction

  • Problem Statement: Orchids are delicate house plants that require a specific amount of light, water, and temperature range. An amateur gardener who does not have enough experience may damage or kill their orchids if they do not care for them properly. Caring for orchids gets more difficult if you have to travel constantly.

  • Solution: The Automatic Orchidarium offers a solution for caring for orchids without much effort. By using an Arduino to control water, fertilizer, lights, and a thermostat, the Automatic Orchidarium will provide the client’s orchids with the ideal temperature range, a light source, water, fertilizer, and proper air circulation. The client will only worry need to worry about refilling the water and fertilizer containers.
  • Clients


    Dr. Kyle Winfree

    Electrical Engineering & P.h.D


    Kelley Horn

    Director of Development, CEAIS


    Prototyping is essential in any project as it lets the team know if their ideas will work right off the bat, if they need tweaking, or if they need a new idea. In the prototyping assignment, the three prototypes chosen were the watering and fertilizing system, the climate control system, and the light controls.

    Water Subsystem

    The water pump can suck the water from the water tank into the soil through the pipe. This water pump is directly connected to Arduino, and feedback is provided by the moisture sensors. When the sensor detects insufficient water, it can be used for watering.

    Temperature & Light

    The temperature is controlled by Arduino, and the Arduino program sets the ideal temperature and humidity. Once the temperature sensor detects that the temperature is too low, the heating bulb will start working. In contrast, when the temperature sensor detects a high temperature, it will cause the CPU fan to start working.


    Put the plants into a glass container which can provides good condition for plants to grow. Too much water can cause the roots of the plant to be rotted, thus affecting the growth of the plant. Therefore, a drainage system was designed to let the excess water out. Considering that plants need oxygen for photosynthesis, we designed the ventilation.


    Team member

    Manuel Aguilar Rios

    Zhuo Chen