Countering loneliness with Plant-pal

Fontys Information and Communication Technology
How can we combat loneliness? At a time when the need for human contact is greater than ever, Fontys ICT students have come up with an innovative product to reduce feelings of loneliness and promote social interaction. In collaboration with OpenRemote and their Internet of Things (IoT) platform, the "Plant Pal" has emerged

Digitisation of objects
The IoT means everyday objects are connected to the internet. To connect a device like the Plant Pal to the IoT and make it smart, sensors are added that collect data. This data is then sent to the IoT platform. The data collected allows users to monitor the state of their plant. This allows users to interact with everyday objects. In addition, this data collection provides valuable information for further improvements.

OpenRemote is an organisation specialising in IoT software solutions and is engaged in creating smart, connected environments. The company provides an IoT platform and software applications that companies and developers can use to implement and manage IoT projects. Fontys ICT students use this platform. 

Impact Plant Pal
Students Vanessa and Kyara of the teaching method Open Learning investigated the possibilities. Within this teaching method, students are challenged to learn in their own way and come up with solutions to complex problems. The Plant Pal is an outcome of this and is being tested at the Natlab in Eindhoven. Further possibilities, such as applying the Plant Pal in care homes, are being explored. Kyara agrees that the project is impactful: "Our project can affect many people. Projects we do now on a small scale feel like possibilities for the future." Watch here the movie about the Plant Pal project.

In the Fontys ICT Innovation Lab, students work closely together on applied research with partners from the work field to realise innovations. This provides students with valuable practical experience and meaningful challenges and allows companies to allocate talent and creativity as an external think tank. The Plant Pal project is an ongoing project, which runs over several semesters. Different student groups therefore build long-term development, which always involves new insights and skills. We look forward to the future of Plant Pal.

Want to know more about the Fontys ICT InnovationLab? Read about it on our website. This project is a collaboration with OpenRemote and the Natlab.

Tags: Education