Potted plants can make a room more peaceful and inviting, even recycling the CO2 you emit into extra oxygen for you to enjoy. On the other hand, it seems that everyone has one, and they grow outside nearly everywhere. Why not set yourself apart with a bonsai that floats in the air using the power of magnets?
While perhaps easier said than done, in this project hacker “Fune Lab” shows us how to make a levitating botanical display using four electromagnet coils, along with four sets of powerful ring magnets in a base made from a ceramic pot. The floating plant holder is constructed with a magnetic bottom section, allowing the base electromagnets to repel it with the proper amount of force. This means it can just sit there, or even spin if someone decides to brush it with a finger.
The device is controlled using an LM324 op-amp that amplifies signals from hall effect sensors that detect the position of the pot. This information is sent to an Arduino Pro Mini board, which processes the information via a PID algorithm and actuates the electromagnets using an H-bridge module.
Be sure to check out the build process in the video below — even if you’re not in the market for a floating plant, using a ceramic pot as an electrical enclosure is certainly a neat idea to keep in mind!