In a world where it has become increasingly more difficult to control the supply of crops and to know exactly where our food comes from, an agriculture IoT (internet of things) startup company, n.things, has created a vertical autonomous farming system that uses hydroponic farming to allow anyone to grow plants or become a farmer, called “Planty Cube”.
Shipping crates are set up and put together like Legos to cultivate high-quality vegetables by using cloud technology with internet connected sensors on each plant it allows users to check up on the plants remotely. Along with LED lights that can control the environment in order to perform photosynthesis, while also allowing the plants to stay in optimal conditions no matter the weather. The computerized system allows the plants to grow and be fed without constant human contact. Since the farm is connected to the internet, n.thing will actually help the user manage the plants as well, in order to make sure that anyone can operate Planty Cube no matter how extensive one’s knowledge of farming is.
The trays are all vertically stacked within the thin hallway to save space and allow for more crops to be housed and grown. Each plant is connected to a sensor that lets the computer know when it needs more water and how it is reacting to the amount of light it is receiving, as well as the humidity level, and if it needs more nutrients. To grow the plants, it uses 90% less water and much less soil. This helps to challenge environmental factors that are greatly affecting crops, like pollution and water use. The only thing that the system can’t do on it’s own is cut the crops when they are ready, although it does alert the owner when it believes crops should be cut.
These are huge game changers could greatly affect urban areas where most fruits and vegetables are shipped from other places. One of these could hypothetically supply fresh vegetables to neighboring restaurants, and a Planty Cube could even be placed behind schools in order to feed their students fresh vegetables. Hotels and restaurants could invest in their own, changing their food upply change and potentially lowering their operating costs since the price of vegetables tend to fluctuate depending on availability and the type of weather season it was. A Planty Cube could even be brought into space. If the cube has access to the internet and the LED lights are intact, it can be placed anywhere. Hopefully we will begin to see Planty Cube’s more often that will lead us to a more sustainable and ‘fruitful’ future.