Team Members

This is iGrower, a small machine capable of growing plants. It's divided into 3 main parts: the robot itself, command unit and water tank with pump. It uses a stepper motor to drive its head in X axis. The head is connected to the water tank via a plastic tube and uses it to water the plants beneath. All components are connected to an external command unit driven by arduino uno board. iGrower waters the plants automatically every 24 hours so you don't need to do anything. In the future it will be also capable of planting seeds in the selected pot. (Right now I don't have the necessary parts.)

iGrower need only 5V to work so it can by powered by a regular phone charger, power bank or simple solar panel which makes it completely power independent.

I think what makes it innovative is the approach towards plant growing. For decades it was associated with hard and dirty work in the garden in the countryside. Now its possible to have healthy vegetables or fresh spices even if you live in the city center, and you don't need to put too much effort to get them. Growing plants can become very easy even for people who don't know anything about it.

It's only a concept. I think the final version should be much bigger. Construction of iGrower is based on a 3D printer so it's using similar solutions in case of movement. Bigger version will need a more powerful stepper motors and aluminium frame. The rest of the parts can be 3D printed.

It's hard to say what impact will it have around the globe, but I see a lot of potential in this little robot. In many ways it could be a solution to world hunger problems because it's really effective in growing plants, and with a growing number of people on Earth we have to find a way to feed all of them. Autonomous farm-robots like iGrower will probably start as a fun toy for the hobbyist, but I believe that some day it will help a large number of people.

 

Inspiration

I like the idea of combining technology with farming to make it more efficient and easy for humanity. I watched a documentary about technological challenge of making humans interplanetary spieces wich involved growing food on the surface of moon or mars. I thought that robots should do it for us, as they will be more efficient.

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