Prickly is an internet-connected decorative planter that uses the ProPublica Congress API to cycle through a live list of the latest 10 bills passed by the United States Senate (on one LCD screen) and latest 10 bills passed by The House of Representatives (on the other). Find out what your elected officials are finagling through congress every time your water a parched cactus.
A variety of interests came together in the creation of this project. Like many people, I'm following politics pretty closely right now but I realized that there are many decisions happening behind the scenes or at least out of the regular news cycle. Maybe these proposed laws aren't dramatic enough or are just too technical to make the news, but some will certainly have a significant impact on the future of the United States. With this use of the ProPublica Congress API I began considering ways to integrate that information into my daily home experience.
Initially unrelated, I had been looking for an application of ceramic or porcelain 3D printing. I kept coming back to cups, flatware or planters. Then the idea struck: An Internet of Things planter! What better partner to accompany the current state of congressional politics than a cactus?
The exterior porcelain enclosure and the interior PLA structure are both modeled using Rhino. I test printed the exterior enclosure on a Makerbot before using Shapeways for the final print. The interior structure, which holds the small monitors and the IOT Photon controllers in place, is a basic PLA print created on a Makerbot. The cactus is from one of my favorite plant shops in San Francisco: Flora Grubb.
Materials: 3D Printed Porcelain and PLA, Photon IOT controllers, LCDs, Cactus
Dimensions: 4.5"w x 4.5"h x 4.5"d (not including plant)