Pi Garden Enviro. control

Incorporation of microcomputers in hydroponics for total remote control of environment and variables

What's the big idea?

The idea is to create an affordable plug-n-play environmental control unit for existing greenhouses or new ones. Custom and commercial applications are of interest as well. This could be used for many things including tissue/cell culture, mycology, brewing, HVAC or even pets. When you can control the environment you control what you decide to do with it. Phase two includes a dosage system for hydroponics. The goal is to have a nice user interface or perhaps more power/customization for those who choose. Data may be stored and the system controlled remotely via the web from multiple devices.

Describe the nearest player in your field.

There are several automated systems available… for several thousand dollars. You could piece things together and create a system for hundreds maybe. Our goal is to have an affordable powerful system that is useful to everyone.

How are you different from that player?

We would rather sell something anyone could use or afford then keep the technology exclusive. We look for what people need help with and make it easy for them afford-ably.

How does this idea scale into a big business?

Though a Pi garden and Pi Pro would be great income generators we believe there is room in research and development for growth. Custom application and contracts with businesses may provide this source of income. designing custom/preset programs for the system.

Why are you the one to run with this idea?

I am a currently a deans list bio/chem student with a technological focus. I do not have 10 phd’s but i know 10 people who do. Most of features or technology is not new, it is just scattered. This program/device here for this and this on for that. It all adds up but not if its all in one easy packag

What is a $5,000 experiment you can do to move your idea forward?

$5000 would go far in the beginning of this project do to low parts cost. Subbing parts out may speed the process. However, it could be used to build a scale hydroponic garden in our community. This could spark through The Van Andle Institutes upcoming science conference which l am registered for.

There have been 5 replies to this page

  1. Drew Mellema


    I should mention i have close contacts in engineering/architecture and electronic manufacturing,

  2. Eric Boynton

    Do you have a prototype system created already? What are you using for sensors and control?

  3. Drew Mellema


    It is not finished as I have not received all of the parts yet thoughthey have shipped. I am using i2c sensors and low volt relays. Controlled by Python scripts

  4. Drew Mellema


    I would love to share more about this project but I believe I should talk to someone at start garden before I do

  5. Drew Mellema


    Don’t worry about any power issues the system can be as powerful or efficient as needed

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This idea was funded by Start Garden staff endorsement on August 15, 2013.