The Droplet robot aims to keep your garden green
By Nick Mediati (@dtnick) · Published March 26, 2014 at 12:12am.
It’s rare to find someone who actually enjoys the task of watering the garden—even those of us who enjoy working in the yard grumble about having to water. Stupid evaporation. The makers of the Droplet, though, want to do for watering what the Roomba did for vacuuming.
The Droplet is a small robotic device from Droplet Robotics that you attach to your hose. It wanders around your yard, dragging the hose behind it, and goes from plant to plant, giving your garden a good watering. According to Droplet’s makers, the robo-gardener can recognize the plants in your garden and give it the right amount of water—no more over-or under-watering!
It can also pull from a weather database and information on soil conditions to adjust how much water it dispenses according to the conditions where you live. It connects to your Wi-Fi network, and you can configure it from your smartphone, tablet, or computer.
In addition, Droplet Robotics claims that the bot can shoot a jet of water up to 30 feet in any direction, and that its precision watering mechanism can save you up to $263 on your water bill per year—a boon to those of us in drought-stricken California if it works as advertised.
Sounds pretty cool, right? It’s not cheap, though: The convenience of robotic watering will set you back $300.
Granted, I haven’t touched one of these things yet, but it seems like a useful little gadget, particularly if you’re a casual gardener. I do wonder, however, how long it takes to work its magic, and how well it’d handle watering a larger garden or one in which you’re growing lots of different plants in a fairly tight area (think a tightly packed vegetable garden or flower bed).
I’m also curious how it compares to, say, a drip irrigation system in terms of water use. Here’s hoping I get a chance to play with one soon.