Amazonian rainforest simulation

Mike “Recantha” Horne mailed me yesterday saying he’d found something that was (and I quote) “ALL KINDS OF COOL”. He also taught me a new word. This project is a paludarium: a created environment that mimics a complete terrestrial and aquatic biome, full of plants and animals that live in water and on land. A bit like a terrarium, but with an aquatic element as well (or a bit like an aquarium with a greenhouse on top).

Paludarium

The paludarium in question, created by a team called Poopi and Piter (it seems Piter built the paludarium and Poopi built the system that creates the weather and time-of-day effects), simulates an Amazonian rainforest, with fog, rainfall, thunderstorms and wind; as well as a complete diurnal cycle. The Raspberry Pi is responsible for running:

  • 6 independent sections of halogen lights
  • 27 independently controlled 1W LEDs for various effects
  • 3 independent 3W RGB LEDs for ambient color effects
  • 3 independent 3W LEDs for lightning and moon simulation
  • 3 independent 10W LEDs for Aquarium lighting
  • 2 independent FANs for wind simulation
  • 3 fog generators
  • 2 independent solenoids for rain control
  • Temperature monitoring

This is one of the most beautiful projects we’ve ever featured here. It’s a compelling watch: enjoy the video.

22 comments

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Very nice. Is Rachel going to build one for your office?

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I think the brine shrimp would get jealous.

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I am sure they would :D

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That is so cool. Now all they need is a hurricane

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GREAT!
Next step: Room size and some animals…

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I wonder if it’d be possible to do a bedroom like that. I suppose the sheets would get wet. But it’d be AWESOME.

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AAAH! There’s a spider in my ear!

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Wind is also :P

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Thank you Liz; This is one of the most enchanting, captivating things that I have ever experienced.

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Really glad you liked it too – I keep going back to the video for a few minutes when I need to decompress a bit! Since putting this post up, I’ve managed to get in touch with Poopi – I hope we’ll be able to interview him for a later edition of the MagPi.

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It really is stunning!

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VERY cool!

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It is great pleasure for me to read so many nice words from you. I hope, that together with Poopi we will write an article that will encourage you to use the technology and gifts of nature, to, even if for a little while, get away from the daily routine. Greetings, Piotr

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I’ve just had a crazy idea – you could set up one of the Raspberry Pi weather stations in the Amazonian rainforest, and then use the real-time data collected by that, to exactly replicate the same weather conditions in the paludarium ;-)

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That is a FANTASTIC idea – if we end up sending any of them out to the Amazon, I’ll see if we can look further into it.

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It’s not that crazy. Actually I was an original idea. First of all you can find some weather stations from which you can harvest the data. That is not a problem. You need to use data from the past due to time difference. This is also not a problem. You also need to keep in mind the difference in latitudes. For now the concept has been postponed for different reasons. Piter’s palludarium is an open one so there will be a problem with controlling the actual humidity. Maybe for the next project…but still not a big issue.

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Lovely stuff!

I’m looking forward to the write-up :)

Already added a thumbsuck to my budget to build something like this for myself :)

Own weatherstation included :)

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Is there a tutorial for this? Instructibles?

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Really enchanting to watch. Excellent project! Well done!

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Exceptionally well conceived and carried out!

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Also, just think how something like this could benefit animals in captivity if their native habitats were better re-created.

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So cool! I would really love to build something like that. Could you please share a bit of your knowledge on building this?

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