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Publication numberUS20070082600 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/246,933
Publication dateApr 12, 2007
Filing dateOct 7, 2005
Priority dateOct 7, 2005
Publication number11246933, 246933, US 2007/0082600 A1, US 2007/082600 A1, US 20070082600 A1, US 20070082600A1, US 2007082600 A1, US 2007082600A1, US-A1-20070082600, US-A1-2007082600, US2007/0082600A1, US2007/082600A1, US20070082600 A1, US20070082600A1, US2007082600 A1, US2007082600A1
InventorsBryan Asvestas, Roger Asvestas
Original AssigneeBryan Asvestas, Roger Asvestas
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus and method for selecting and growing living plants
US 20070082600 A1
Abstract
Apparatus for selecting and growing plants includes a housing, sensors and probes at least partially disposed within the housing for measuring at least one of climate and soil parameters. A rechargeable power source and a controller for at least receiving the climate and/or soil parameter measurement are provided. There is a device for communicating the at least one of such climate and soil parameter measurement to a remote device. A display may be provided within the housing for locally displaying such at least one of such climate and soil parameter measurement. A database member containing plant selections and a processing member may be further provided for locally displaying a suitable plant selection in response to the measured at least one of climate and soil parameter.
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Claims(20)
1. An apparatus for selecting and growing at least one living plant, said apparatus comprising:
(a) a housing having each of a predetermined shape and predetermined size;
(b) a measuring means at least partially disposed within said housing for measuring at least one of a climate and soil parameter;
(c) a power source connected to said measuring means;
(d) a control means connected to said measuring means and to said power source for at least receiving said at least one of said climate and soil parameter measurement; and
(e) means connected to said control means for communicating said at least one of said climate and soil parameter measurement received by said control means.
2. The apparatus, according to claim 1, wherein said power source is one of a battery, solar collector, electrical cord and various combinations thereof.
3. The apparatus, according to claim 1, wherein said measuring means includes at least one sensor for measuring one of exposure to sunlight, ambient heat generated by said sunlight, temperature, humidity, wind and various combinations thereof.
4. The apparatus, according to claim 1, wherein said measuring means includes at least one elongated probe extending outwardly from said housing and engageable with a soil for measuring at least one of moisture, acidity, alkalinity, salinity, nutrient content, temperature, ambient heat generated by sunlight and various combinations thereof.
5. The apparatus, according to claim 4, wherein said measuring means includes a predetermined plurality of elongated probes extending outwardly from said housing and engageable with such soil for measuring one of such moisture, acidity, alkalinity, salinity, nutrient content, temperature, ambient heat generated by sunlight and various combination thereof.
6. The apparatus, according to claim 5, wherein at least one of said predetermined plurality of elongated probes has a different length.
7. The apparatus, according to claim 1, wherein said communication means communicates said at least one of said climate and soil parameter measurement to a remote device.
8. The apparatus, according to claim 7, wherein said communication means includes at least one of a wireless transmitter, wireless receiver, wireless transceiver, port, cable, removable flash drive, removable flash card, programmable disk and various combinations thereof.
9. The apparatus, according to claim 1, wherein said communication means includes a display for locally displaying said at least one of said climate and soil parameter measurement.
10. The apparatus, according to claim 1, wherein said apparatus further includes a memory means for storing said at least one of said climate and soil parameter measurement.
11. The apparatus, according to claim 10, wherein said apparatus further includes a database having a plurality of plant selections stored therein, each plant selection characterized by at least one of a predetermined climate and soil parameter value and at least one of a climate zone and geographical location.
12. The apparatus, according to claim 10, wherein said apparatus further includes a comparison means for comparing said at least one of said climate and soil parameter measurement against said at least one stored value characterizing said at least one plant selection.
13. The apparatus, according to claim 12, wherein said apparatus further includes a processing means for determining said at least one plant selection based on a comparison of said at least one of said climate and soil parameter measurement against said at least one stored value when a user specifies one of climate zone, geographical location, date of measurement, and various combinations thereof.
14. A method for obtaining at least one living plant selection, said method comprising the steps of:
(a) measuring at least one of a climate and soil parameter over a predetermined period of time;
(b) storing at least one measurement value of said at least one of said climate and soil parameter measured in step (a);
(c) providing a database having a plurality of plant selections stored therein characterized by at least one of a predetermined climate and soil parameter value and one of a climate zone and geographical location;
(d) communicating said at least one measurement value stored in step (b) to a comparison means capable of at least comparing said measurement value stored in step (b) with values stored in said database;
(e) specifying one of said climate zone, said geographical location, date of measuring said at least one of said climate and soil parameter measured in step (a), and various combinations thereof;
(f) comparing said at least one measurement value communicated in step (d) and parameters specified in step (e) with said values stored in said database;
(g) determining at least one plant selection having said at least one of a predetermined climate and soil parameter value substantially equal to said at least one of said climate and soil parameter measured in step (b) in combination with information specified in step (e); and
(h) communicating said at least one plant selection determined in step (g) to a user.
15. A method for growing at least one living plant selection, said method comprising the steps of:
(a) specifying one of climate zone, geographical location, date and various combinations thereof;
(b) specifying one of at least one plant name, at least one climate and soil parameter to be measured and a combination thereof, said at least one plant name characterized by a measurement value of said at least one climate and soil parameter and one of said climate zone and said geographical location;
(c) incrementally measuring said at least one of a climate and soil parameter over a predetermined period of time;
(d) comparing an incremental measurement of said at least one climate and soil parameter with said parameter value specified in step (b);
(e) determining a condition wherein said incremental measurement is substantially equal to said parameter value specified in step (b); and
(f) communicating said condition determined in step (e) to a user.
16. A docking station for at least one apparatus used in selecting and growing at least one living plant, said at least one apparatus having at least a measuring means for measuring at least one of climate and soil parameter, a rechargeable power source connected to said measuring means and communication means for communicating such at least one of said climate and soil parameter measurement, said docking station comprising:
(a) a housing;
(b) at least one cradle formed within said housing to receive and support at least a portion of such at least one apparatus;
(c) an electrical interface formed within said docking station and adapted to connect with such at least one apparatus;
(d) a display for displaying such at least one of said climate and soil parameter measurement and such at least one living plant; and
(e) a power supply coupled to said electrical interface and said display.
17. The docking station, according to claim 16, wherein said electrical interface is at least one connector adapted for coupling one of a power, data signal and combination thereof with such at least one apparatus, said data signal is at least associated with such at least one of said climate and soil parameter measurement.
18. The docking station, according to claim 16, wherein said electrical interface is an antenna for remote communication with one of such at least one apparatus, remote device and combination thereof.
19. The docking station, according to claim 16, wherein said docking station includes a data entry means.
20. The docking station, according to claim 16, wherein said docking station includes one of memory means for storing such at least one of climate and soil parameter measurement, database having a plurality of plant selections stored therein characterized by at least one of a predetermined climate and soil parameter value and at least one of a climate zone and geographical location, comparison means for comparing such at least one of said climate and soil parameter measurement against said at least one stored value characterizing said at least one living plant selection, processing means and various combinations thereof.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is related to and claims priority from U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/616,547 filed Oct. 6, 2004.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates, in general, to an apparatus and method for selecting and growing living plants and, more particularly, this invention relates to an apparatus and method for selecting and growing living plants based on measuring soil and climate conditions.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

As is generally well known successful gardening requires, among other factors, suitability of living plants to environmental conditions associated with a particular area in a particular climate zone designated for growing these plants. Such environmental conditions include soil and climate factors and, more particularly, they include moisture, nutrient content, temperature, sunlight and the like. A living plant, incorrectly selected for specific climate and soil conditions may not survive after planting or may not properly grow.

The difficulty of properly selecting and growing plants is particularly troublesome to a beginner or a novice gardener who generally invests significant time and effort to research proper living plant selections utilizing publications and internet or receiving advice from local nurseries and other commercial entities selling such plants. To save time and improve success in growing plants, the beginner, or novice, gardener, for a fee that may be substantial, may obtain expert advice.

Therefore, there is a need for an apparatus for selecting proper living plants based on climate and soil conditions that reduces research efforts and cost.

Furthermore, difficulty exists in maintaining proper soil conditions to achieve successful growth of the selected plants.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,268,824 to Phillips teaches a battery operated soil moisture level-signaling device which has two probes inserted into the soil. The electrical resistance formed between these probes is associated with a progressive loss, over a time interval, of moisture in the soil. Such resistance is continuously compared with a set value and a light is turned on when the resistance increases above a predetermined threshold indicating dry soil condition. Disadvantages of such device are related to a need for continuous monitoring of the moisture levels, rudimentary annunciation method and lack of soil nutrient content and climate monitoring.

Japanese Pat. No. 2003310054 to Koshiga et al teaches an enclosed container for growing plants which is equipped with various sensors mounted within the enclosure and communication means to transmit data measured by the sensors to a processing unit that determines the levels of water, light, temperature, moisture or fertilizer and provides instructions related to present and desired levels. Disadvantages of such device are the need for an enclosed container and expense related to permanently installed sensors.

French Pat. No. 8915262 teaches an apparatus for the automatic and continuous acquisition of soil, plant and climate data and adapted to determine the reactions of a plant culture forming an area of vegetation, within its environment, in order to provide the energy balance of the culture, the corresponding real loss of moisture through evaporation and the stomatic resistance of the plant cover. The apparatus includes a generally vertical mast, or similar support, rising above the cultivated area to support a measuring assembly and possibly various supplementary sensors, and being characterized in that this measuring assembly is constituted by a tube element extending horizontally and disposed parallel with the crop and containing a temperature sensor, particularly of the thermocouple or platinum probe type and a relative hygrometry sensor for measuring a flow of air drawn in by a fan or pump, mounted at an open end of the tube element, the other end being made rigid with and connected to two oppositely disposed coaxial and identical ducts preferably extending vertically on either side of the axis of the tube element and discharging at two reference levels which are symmetrical in relation to the axis above the cultivated area. Each duct has at least one valve adapted alternatively to open or close one or the other duct so that the fan or pump draws separately collected air into these ducts from the two levels.

Therefore, there is a need for a simple apparatus for maintaining proper climate and soil conditions that does not require installation of various sensors or other devices.

Additionally, both novice and seasoned gardeners experience difficulties in purchasing selected plants as available inventory varies for each commercial entity. Therefore, various commercial entities must be visited or contacted in order to determine location of purchase for selected plants or some selections may not be purchased if not available locally within a reasonable driving distance. Furthermore, personnel employed by such commercial entities at times are disadvantaged in knowing all available plant selections and easily finding them in the physical confines.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In a first embodiment, the present invention provides an apparatus for selecting and growing at least one living plant. Such apparatus includes a housing having each of a predetermined shape and predetermined size. A measuring means is at least partially disposed within the housing for measuring at least one of a climate and soil parameter. A power source is connected to the measuring means. A control means is connected to both the measuring means and to the power source for at least receiving such at least one of a climate and soil parameter measurement. Finally, a means is connected to the control means for communicating such at least one of such climate and soil parameter measurement received by the control means.

In a second embodiment, the instant invention provides a method for obtaining at least one living plant selection including the steps of measuring at least one of a climate and soil parameter over a predetermined period of time. Storing at least one measurement value of such at least one of such climate and soil parameter measured. Providing a database having a plurality of plant selections stored therein characterized by at least one of a predetermined climate and soil parameter value and one of a climate zone and geographical location. Communicating such at least one measurement value stored to a comparison means capable of at least comparing the measurement value with values stored in the database. Specifying one of such climate zone, geographical location, date of measuring such at least one of the climate and soil parameter measured and various combinations thereof. Comparing the at least one measurement value communicated and parameters specified with the values stored in the database. Determining at least one plant selection having such at least one of a predetermined climate and soil parameter value substantially equal to the at least one of such climate and soil parameter measured in combination with information specified and Communicating the at least one plant selection determined to a user.

In a third embodiment, the present invention provides a method for growing at least one plant including the steps of specifying one of climate zone, geographical location, date and various combinations thereof and specifying one of at least one plant name, at least one climate and soil parameter to be measured and combinations thereof. Such at least one plant name is characterized by a measurement value of such at least one climate and soil parameter and one of such climate zone and geographical location. Incrementally measuring the at least one of a climate and soil parameter over a predetermined period of time and comparing an incremental measurement of the at least one climate and soil parameter with a parameter specified value. Determining a condition wherein the incremental measurement is substantially equal to the parameter value specified. Finally, communicating such condition determined to a user.

In a final embodiment, the present invention provides a docking station for at least one apparatus used in selecting and growing at least one plant. The at least one apparatus having at least a measuring means for measuring at least one of a climate and soil parameter. A rechargeable power source is connected to the measuring means and to a communication means for communicating such at least one of such climate and soil parameter measurement. The docking station includes a housing. there is at least one cradle formed within such housing to receive and support at least a portion of such at least one apparatus. An electrical interface is formed within such docking station and adapted to connect with such at least one apparatus. A display for displaying such at least one of such climate and soil parameter measurement and such at least one plant is provided. Additionally, there is a power supply coupled to such electrical interface and such display.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

It is, therefore, one of the primary objects of the present invention to provide an apparatus for selecting and growing plants.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an apparatus for selecting and growing plants which measures soil and climate parameters.

Yet, another object of the present invention is to provide an apparatus for selecting and growing plants which is portable.

A further object of the present invention is to provide an apparatus for selecting and growing plants which is capable of locally and remotely communicating measured soil and climate parameters and suitable living plant selections.

Yet, a further object of the present invention is to provide an apparatus for selecting and growing plants which is economical to manufacture.

An additional object of the present invention is to provide a method for selecting and growing plants which improves conditions for locating and purchasing such plants.

In addition to the several objects and advantages of the present invention which have been described with some degree of specificity above, various other objects and advantages of the invention will become more readily apparent to those persons who are skilled in the relevant art, particularly, when such description is taken in conjunction with the attached drawing Figures and with the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the apparatus for selecting and growing living plants;

FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram of the apparatus according to the invention; and

FIG. 3 is a plan view of the docking station according to the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE VARIOUS EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

Prior to proceeding to the more detailed description of the present invention, it should be noted that, for the sake of clarity and understanding, identical components which have identical functions have been identified with identical reference numerals throughout the several views illustrated in the drawing figures.

It is to be understood that the definition of a living plant applies to flowers, shrubs, vines, grasses or trees.

Reference is now made to FIGS. 1-2, wherein there is shown an apparatus, generally designated 10, for selecting and growing living plants. Such apparatus 10 includes a housing 12 having each of a predetermined size and predetermined shape. The housing 12 may be further provided with a predetermined color and grip means (not shown) disposed on a predetermined exterior portion of the housing 12. The apparatus 10 further includes a measuring means, generally designated 20, at least partially disposed within the housing 12 for measuring at least one of a climate and soil parameter. The measuring means 20 includes at least one sensor 22 for measuring such at least one climate parameter including but not limited to exposure to sunlight, ambient heat generated by the sunlight, temperature, humidity, wind and various combinations thereof.

The measuring means further includes at least one elongated probe 24 extending outwardly from the housing 12 and engageable with a soil 2 for measuring at least one soil parameter including but not limited to moisture, acidity, alkalinity, salinity, nutrient content, temperature and various combinations thereof. The elongated probe 24 may be rigidly or removably attached to the housing 12. It will be appreciated that a socket (not shown) will be mounted within the housing 12 for removably receiving such at least one elongated probe 24.

Preferably, such measuring means 20 includes a predetermined plurality of elongated probes 24 extending outwardly from the housing 12 and engageable with the soil 2. It is further preferred that at least one of the predetermined plurality of elongated probes 24 has a different length for measuring soil parameters at different depths which is advantageous for a plurality of living plants having different root member sizes.

In a particular reference to FIG. 2, a power source 30 is connected to the measuring means 20 for enabling operation thereof. The power source 30 may be one of a battery, solar collector, electrical cord and various combinations thereof. The presently preferred power source 30 is a battery 30 disposed within the housing 12. Preferably, such battery 30 is rechargeable. Furthermore, a pair of electrical contacts 32 are disposed on the housing 12 for recharging such rechargeable battery 30.

In further reference to FIG. 2, a control means 40 is connected to the measuring means 20 and to the power source 30 for at least receiving such at least one of a climate and soil parameter measurement when the apparatus 10 is activated through the power switch 28 or through other means. Such at least one of a climate and soil parameter measurement received by the control means 40 is communicated to the user locally, remotely or in combination thereof. For a local communication, such apparatus 10 includes a display 34 visible through the exterior surface of the housing 12. For a remote communication, the apparatus 10 may include an interface connector 50 of a predetermined type which is accessible from the exterior surface of the housing 12.

Alternatively, an antenna means 52 and a transmitter 54 will be provided for wireless communication of such at least one of a climate and soil parameter measurement to a remote host 70. Furthermore, an independent receiver 56 may be provided for receiving information from such remote host 70. Alternatively, the transmitter 54 and the receiver 56 may be combined into a well known transceiver 58. Further, the remote communication may be achieved through a cable, removable flash drive, removable flash card, programmable disk and various combinations thereof, accessible from the exterior surface of the housing 12.

The apparatus 10 may further include a memory means 60 for storing such at least one of such climate and soil parameter measurement. A database 62 may be linked with the control means 40. Such database 62 has a plurality of plant selections stored therein each characterized by at least one of a predetermined climate and soil parameter value and one of a climate zone and geographical location. It will be understood that the database 62 may be disposed within the memory means 60.

There is comparison means 64 provided for comparing the at least one of the climate and soil parameter measurement against the at least one stored value characterizing the at least one plant selection. A processing means 66 is provided for determining the at least one plant selection based on a comparison of the at least one of the climate and soil parameter measurement against the at least one value stored in database 62 when a user specifies one of climate zone, geographical location, date of measurement, and various combinations thereof.

It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that each of the memory means 60, database 62, comparison means 64 and processing means 66 may be disposed within the control means 40, disposed externally to the housing 12 within the remote host 70 and the like or provided both internally and externally to the housing 12.

Furthermore, either the control means 40 or the processing means 66 will contain a set of instructions for operating apparatus 10 and determining such at least one suitable plant selection.

Internal disposition of such memory means 60, database 62, comparison means 64 and processing means 66 will be advantageous in combination with the display 32 to provide for a stand-alone portable operation of the apparatus 10.

Additionally, at least one function key 36 and a keypad 38 may be provided for data entry input into the apparatus 10.

In operation, to determine at least one suitable plant selection according to the principles of the present invention, the user installs the apparatus 10 in a predetermined area for measuring the at least one of a climate and soil parameter over a predetermined period of time. It will be appreciated that during such predetermined period of time a plurality of measurements may be obtained and stored in the memory means 60. Alternatively, only an extreme or average measurement may be stored in the memory means 60.

Next, the database 62 is provided via a computer disk for installation onto a remotely disposed computer or into the housing 12, or such database 62 is available for user's access via Internet or other means.

When the predetermined period of time has expired, the at least one measurement is communicated to the comparison means 64 which is capable of at least comparing such at least one measurement with the values stored in the database 62.

When the user specifies one of the climate zone, the geographical location, date of measuring the at least one of the climate and soil parameter and various combinations thereof, such information in combination with at least one measurement is compared with the values stored in the database 62, enabling determination of the at least one suitable plant selection having the at least one predetermined climate and soil parameter value substantially equal to the at least one of the measured climate and soil parameter and further in combination with the specified geographical information. Such at least one suitable plant selection will be communicated to the user locally at the display 34 or remotely at the remote host 70 and the like. The at least one suitable plant selection may be communicated by name, picture and a combination thereof. Advantageously, such remote host 70 may be disposed within the commercial entity (not shown) selling plants and specified by the user.

In one embodiment of the invention, such at least one suitable plant selection will be communicated as a string of alpha, numeric or alpha-numeric characters displayed on the display 34. The user will manually input such character string into a computer program, preferably disposed within the remote host 70, containing the database 62 and comparison means 64 to determine the at least one suitable plant selection. Alternatively, the user may contact, via phone, fax or internet, such remote host 70 containing the database 62 and comparison means 64 and obtain the at least one suitable plant selection after providing the displayed character string or the user may deliver such character string to the commercial entity selling plants which will contain database 62, comparison means 64 and processing means 66.

In another embodiment of the invention, control means 40, memory means 60, database 62, comparison means 64 and processing means 66 will be disposed within the housing 12. The user will specify one of the climate zone, geographical location, date of measuring the at least one of the climate and soil parameter and various combinations thereof through the at least one function key 36, keypad 38 and a combination thereof. The at least one suitable plant selection will be then displayed on display 34 when the predetermined period of measuring time has expired.

In yet another embodiment of the invention, each of the plurality of measurements obtained over the predetermined period of time will be communicated through the communication means 50 or antenna means 52 directly to the remote host 70 containing the memory means 60, database 62, comparison means 64 and the processing means 66. In such embodiment, the apparatus 10 will be used only for measuring such at least one of a climate and soil parameter providing for economical cost of manufacture.

It will be appreciated that the processing means 66 may be adapted to provide the user with at least one second suitable plant selection in combination with at least one recommended modification of the measured at least one soil and climate parameter required to successfully cultivate such at least one second suitable plant selection.

Now in reference to FIG. 3, therein illustrated is a docking station, generally designated 100, having a housing 102 and at least one cradle 104 for receiving at least a portion of the housing 12. Horizontal placement of the apparatus 10 is illustrated in FIG. 3, however the at least one cradle 104 may be formed to enable vertical placement of the at least one apparatus 10 with or without at least one elongated probe 24.

Electrical contacts 106 are provided within such at least one cradle 104 and aligned with electrical contacts 32 on the housing 12 for charging the battery 30 of the apparatus 10. Further, an electrical interface connector 108 is provided which mates with electrical interface connector 50 of apparatus 10. Electrical interface connector 108 includes signal conductors to receive data associated with such at least one climate and soil parameter measurement from apparatus 10 and transmit data associated with operating instructions to apparatus 10.

Alternatively, the electrical contacts 106 and electrical interface connector 108 may be combined to cooperate with combined electrical contacts 32 and electrical interface connector 50 of apparatus 10.

A power supply adapter 110 is coupled to the docking station 100 with a power cable 112 for providing operating power to the docking station 100 and for providing a source of current for recharging the battery 30 in the apparatus 10.

An antenna 114 is coupled to the transceiver (not shown) disposed within the docking station 100 for providing a radio communication link with at least the antenna means 52 of the apparatus 10 to remotely communicate such at least one climate and soil parameter measurement and such operating instructions.

The docking station 100 may be further adapted with a display 120, a group of functional keys 122, a keypad 124, a power switch 126 and a communication port 128. It will be appreciated that a control means (not shown) disposed within the housing 102 will be provided to operate various members of the docking station 100.

According to one embodiment of the invention, the docking station 100 is simply used for recharging the battery 30 by placing the housing 12 into the at least one cradle 104 and aligning the electrical contacts 32 on the housing 12 with the electrical contacts 106 in the cradle 104.

According to another embodiment of the invention, the at least one of climate and soil measurement stored in the memory means 60 disposed within the housing 12 is transmitted to the docking station 100 through the combination of the electrical interface connector 50 on the housing 12 and the electrical interface connector 108 disposed within the at least one cradle 104. In such embodiment, database 62, comparison means 64 and processing means 66 may be disposed within the docking station 100 with the at least one suitable plant selection being displayed on the display 120 or the docking station 100 may transmit such at least one of climate and soil parameter measurement to the remote host 70 through the antenna 114 or the communication port 128.

According to yet another embodiment of the invention the memory means 60, database 62, comparison means 64 and the processing means 66 are disposed within the docking station 100. The at least one of climate and soil parameter measurement is received from a remotely disposed apparatus 10 through the combination of the antenna means 52 and antenna 114 and the at least one suitable plant selection is displayed on display 120.

It will be appreciated that the docking station 100 will be further advantageous for use at the commercial entity (not shown) selling plants in order to determine availability of such at least one suitable plant selection. The database 66 disposed within docking station 100 will further contain all plant selections available at such commercial entity (not shown). The user may bring the apparatus 10 with stored at least one of climate and soil measurement to such commercial entity, place it into the at least one cradle 104 and determine such at least one suitable plant selection. Alternatively, the docking station 100 may be linked with the remote host 70 of such commercial entity through the antenna 114 or communication port 128 or the user may select to transmit the at least one of climate and soil measurement directly to the commercial entity.

It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that apparatus 10 reduces efforts and costs associated with research of such at least one suitable plant selection and does not require permanent installation in order to measure such at least one of climate and soil parameter.

It will be further apparent to those skilled in the art that a plurality of apparatuses 10 may be utilized for simultaneously obtaining a plurality of climate and soil parameter measurements. Such plurality of climate and soil parameter measurements may be communicated through a router (not shown) to the remote host 70 or the docking station 100. Alternatively, the docking station 100 may be provided with a plurality of cradles 104 each having the electrical contacts 106 and the electrical interface connector 108 or the remotely disposed comparison means 64 and processor means 66 may be adapted to discriminate between plurality of climate and soil parameter measurements received from each apparatus 10.

Although the present invention has been shown in terms of the apparatus 10 utilized for selecting at least one plant, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art, that the present invention may be applied for aiding in plant growth. In such embodiment, the user will insert at least one elongated probe 24 into the soil 2 and specify through the at least one function key 36, keypad 38 and the combination thereof either a name of at least one plant, the at least one soil parameter value to be monitored or combination thereof. Alternatively, information may be transmitted from remote host 70 or the docking station 100. The comparison means 64 will be adapted to incrementally receive a plurality of measurements of the at least one climate and soil parameter, each at a predetermined time interval, compare each measurement with the parameter value specified by the user and communicate to the user through the display 34, communication means 50 or antenna means 52 a condition when one of such plurality of soil parameter measurements is substantially equal to the at least one soil parameter value.

Furthermore, the at least one apparatus 10 may be equipped with an audible alarm and a light means for locating such at least one apparatus 10 installed within growing living plants by sending a command from the remote host 70, docking station 100, a locator device and the like.

Additionally, the docking station 100 may be provided with a calibration means to calibrate at least one sensor 22 and the at least one elongated probe.

Thus, the present invention has been described in such full, clear, concise and exact terms as to enable any person skilled in the art to which it pertains to make and use the same. It will be understood that variations, modifications, equivalents and substitutions for components of the specifically described embodiments of the invention may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the appended claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7571075 *Feb 28, 2007Aug 4, 2009Plant Sense, Inc.Computerized plant selection system
US7587297 *Feb 28, 2007Sep 8, 2009Plant Sense, Inc.Computerized system for targeted horticultural advertising
US8800353 *Sep 9, 2011Aug 12, 2014The Hong Kong University Of Science And TechnologyHumidity and osmotic suction-controlled box
US20120060588 *Sep 9, 2011Mar 15, 2012The Hong Kong University Of Science And TechnologyHumidity and osmotic suction-controlled box
WO2009094324A2 *Jan 19, 2009Jul 30, 2009Advanced Sensor Technology IncSensor for measuring moisture and salinity
WO2015001083A1 *Jul 4, 2014Jan 8, 2015Rockwool International A/SPlant growth system
Classifications
U.S. Classification454/191
International ClassificationF24F9/00
Cooperative ClassificationA01G9/246, A01G25/167
European ClassificationA01G9/24E, A01G25/16D