Its been a long time coming but its almost here. I have been trying to take the idea behind the food computer and apply it to bigger growing systems.
The food computer measures over two million datapoints per plant using sensors and machine vision. The design so far is focused on optimizing data capture for scientific use. We want to create a similar computer that focuses on automating growing envrionments for commercial and residential use. We sacrifice data accuracy and control in favor of farming as many plants as possible in an economical way.
In order to do so, the new computer would have to be safe to use, able to control a small growing environment independent of the growing system used (aero, hydro, or acquaponics), scalable, and easy to use and setup.
That is how the climate computer came to be. The CC is basically a modified version of Jake Rye’s brain box. I added a power supply (for the DC outlets) and AC outlets and we are working on a weatherproof case.
Here are some pictures of the prototype.
The food computer inspired me to make it easy for people to automate any indoor growing system. So, far our modified “brain box” has all the sensors used in the food computer, a 300-watt power supply, 10 DC outlets and 4 AC outlets controlled by relays, a raspberry pi, and an Arduino used to read the sensors. The power supply size, sensors, and number of DC and AC outlets are customizable.
I do not know anything about coding so I hired a programmer to write a webapp I could use to control the computer from my phone. There are three main programs you can assign to each relay: cycle timing (15 seconds off, 2 min on), scheduler (on 6 am, off 6:30 am), and sensor control (on when temp is over 30C, off when is under 25C). Here is the code’s github. I hope it helps.
The next step is to create a circuit board to get rid of all the wires and improve the webapp. We will be selling our climate computer as a diy kit you could built in less than one hour.
What do you guys think? We could built an openag version if enough of you are interested.That would make building a food computer much faster. Let m know if you want me to post the BOM too. I would greatly appreciate any inputs on the design or the software.
We are going to start a beta-version campaign for our climate computer as soon as the commercial version is ready, let me know if you would be interested to be part of it. The price for the beta version computer is going to be around $350.