Rachel Rayns with the Raspberry Pi Foundation (UK), Neurotic Machines, 2015


Rachel Rayns and Raspberry Pi Foundation’s Neurotic Machines is a set of robotic gardening systems monitoring plants’ light levels, temperature, humidity and feeding. A pop-up garden will take shape in the FACT Connects Space, where Rachel will show visitors how to programme their own Raspberry Pi garden robot.


For more more information on the artist please visit

Rachel Rayns

Rachel Rayns

All Neurotic Machines are part of an Internet of Things: a network of smart objects embedded with electronics, software and sensors exchanging data to communicate with each other and with us. Rayns wonders what might happen if these smart objects had personalities. Their main responsibility is to nurture their gardens, but what if they doubt their data and worry about the results?


Rayns invites us to take an active role in this network of machines. Experiment with your preferred parameters for life via the control desk; strike up a conversation with the hydroponic garden; or join in from home via the website - coming soon.


In addition to the mother machine here in the gallery, Rayns has distributed smaller robotic kits to groups such as Liverpool’s FarmUrban, who use modern science to develop urban farms for local food production; and Norwich Farmshare, a community farm growing seasonal vegetables.


The Raspberry Pi Foundation is also giving workshops on building your own Internet of Things gardening robot using Raspberry Pi, a tiny, low-cost computer. Check the events section for more details on how you can take part.


Software by Ben Nuttall, hardware support from Jonathan Bell and gardening building advice from windowfarms.org.