People are asking the wrong questions when it comes to MIT’s food computer. It’s not a question of if a food computer works but rather what form the machine needs to take in order to work.
The small boxes that grow plants are very limited. There really isn’t climate control which means that there’s a huge dependence on the environment that the little box sits in. The little food computer isn’t the real vision of the Open Ag initiative, it’s the food server.
The food server which is build around insulated shipping containers is where hype meets reality. These boxes can precisely control the temperature, humidity and CO2 levels of the air. The reservoir’s state is constantly logged and adjustments can be made automatically. Most important is that the food server can grow many large plants besides your typical leafy greens.
I built my own food server that I used to grow cannabis (I live in MA) and I’m thrilled with the results.
2.8 lbs from 3 plants in 105 days (seed to harvest) at a cost of $179/pound (electricity, water, nutrients & CO2). Given this was my first grow these number can certainly be improved upon.
Click to see the machine
It’s a shame that people are wasting time and effort trying to shoot down MIT’s lofty goal of anywhere agriculture. We need more people working on solutions instead trying to get views by slinging mud.