ThinkerShield Powered Automated Greenhouse

This project was submitted for Diamond Level Award in the 2018 NSW Premier’s Coding Challenge by learners at Dapto High School

The ThinkerShield Powered Automated Greenhouse was designed firstly on paper. We were going to use cardboard but ended up using timber. The Greenhouse consists of:

  • Timber
  • Empty laminate pouches
  • Corflute
  • Nails
  • Screws
  • Thumbtacks
  • Fiberglass tape
  • Brackets
  • Glue
  • Hinges

The Irrigation and “non-electronic” bits consist of:

  • 2 plants for demonstration
  • Clear hose
  • 2 sprinklers
  • 90o angle hose piece
  • Milk container
  • Shoe box
  • Tape

Last of all the Electronics consist of:

  • 4×20 LCD w/ i2c
  • 2 relays
  • Arduino Uno
  • ThinkerShield
  • DPDT Switch
  • Mini breadboard
  • Soil moisture sensor
  • Humidity/Temperature sensor
  • 2 PC fans
  • 12v DC Water pump
  • 12v 12Ah Lead-Acid Battery
  • Alligator Wires
  • Standard wires


  • Potentiometer: Average Humidity Set
  • Button: Toggle Auto Gardener
  • Buzzer: Start up tune (despacito)
  • Switch: LCD Backlight
  • Statements:
   If Humidity > Average:
     Fans on

   If Temperature > 25oC
     Fans on

   If Soil Moisture < 25% 
     Water pump on Until Soil Moisture > 25%
  • Collect data from sensors
  • Display Data on LCD

A clearer video describing our code below is below!

Step 1

Step 1

How did you create your invention?

First, we brainstormed idea’s that would help improve the school or community. Then we discovered obesity was a big issue in the local area. We then thought of ways we could reduce obesity, we came up with the idea to create a greenhouse that is fully automated. This would mean that the automated greenhouse can grow fresh food for people instead of picking up the daily burger at Macca’s or Hungry Jacks. Taking into consideration the busy lives of people today, this automated greenhouse would do most of the work in growing fresh produce without the manual labor otherwise required.

Step 2

Step 2

We started with the electronics. We planned to use an LCD display but because the ThinkerShield only has 8 pins, we discovered the i2c chip. The LCD then needed pin A4 and A5 on the Arduino to be able to use the built in i2c serial buses. We concluded that, instead of directly connecting the ThinkerShield to the Arduino, we use strips of wires to wire the ThinkerShield to the Arduino. We used relays, sensors, fans, pumps, solar panels and a 3d printed plate for the main interface to make it work.

Step 3

Step 3

We then made wooden frame for a greenhouse and used empty laminating sheets instead of glass. We finished coding the Arduino and after blowing up my Arduino and a sensor we finally made it work!

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