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Affordable Remote Monitoring of Plant Growth and Facilities using Raspberry Pi Computers

By Brandin Grindstaff, Makenzie E Mabry, Paul D Blischak, Micheal Quinn, J Chris Pires

Posted 24 Mar 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/586776 (published DOI: 10.1002/aps3.11280)

Premise of the study: Environmentally controlled facilities, such as growth chambers, are essential tools for experimental research. Automated remote monitoring of such facilities with low-cost hardware can greatly improve both the reproducibility and the accurate maintenance of their conditions. Methods and Results: Using a Raspberry Pi computer, open-source software, environmental sensors, and a camera, we developed a cost-effective system for monitoring growth chamber conditions, which we have called GMpi. Coupled with our software, GMpi_Pack, our setup automates sensor readings, photography, alerts when conditions fall out of range, and data transfer to cloud storage services. Conclusions: The GMpi offers low-cost access to environmental data logging, improving reproducibility of experiments, as well as reinforcing the stability of controlled environmental facilities. The device is also flexible and scalable, allowing customization and expansion to include other features such as machine vision.

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