October 31st, 2021—
Everyone needs a little kick in the pants to stay motivated every now and then. With so many of us working from home, where bosses aren’t looking over our shoulders, that is truer now than ever before. Hardware Unknown’s Focus Flower gives that kick in the pants in the form of liquid motivation blasting your face.
Focus Flower’s operation is as simple as possible. When it’s time to start a new task, push the big red “easy” button. A bigger will begin its countdown, giving you a set amount of time to complete your task. Once you do, push the button again for a congratulatory auditory back pat. But if you don’t complete the task in time, that innocuous potted plate on your desk will shoot a jet of water at you. It’s good ol’ fashioned negative reinforcement.
That easy button connects to an Arduino Nano board in a small black enclosure. That enclosure also includes an arming switch, in case you’re not in the mood for damp motivation. The Arduino controls a solenoid valve that resides in the plant’s pot along a water reservoir. When the valve opens, water shoots out of a nozzle using the pressure coming from any conveniently-located air compressor. To provide the hardworking user with some indication of the time remaining, the easy button has a ring of LEDs.