PlantParent was created from a fairly simple need: the desire for an automatic plant watering system which could reliably give a fixed amount of water on a given time interval. Aimed at a consumer audience, PlantParent is a handy tool to take care of household plants while the owner is not home, e.g. taking long days at work or an extended vacation. 

PlantParent's design is a water pumping system controlled by a pre-programmed Arduino board. In addition, to keep the product as user-friendly as possible, the preliminary design includes a computer application so that the consumer could control the amount of water expelled by PlantParent and the desired time interval from one watering to the next. For the prototype created within 10 weeks, this application will be connected to the board via USB port, though a wireless and cross-platform functionality is the ultimate goal of this product.

Mechanically, PlantParent makes use of an aquarium powerhead pump inside a cylindrical plastic water container, with a water level indicator on the side to let the user know when to refill. The electrical components are housed in a separate box from which extends the pump's power cord, to be plugged into a wall outlet. The plastic tubing coming out of the pump (through which the water flows) can be arranged at the soil level of one or two plants.