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Open source greenhouse enables smartphone control of a veggie garden

The MEG greenhouse allows the user to create the perfect growing environment from their smart device
The MEG greenhouse allows the user to create the perfect growing environment from their smart device
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MEG (Micro Experimental Growing) is the brainchild of a team of Italian engineers, who is looking to demonstrate that just about anything can be grown in any location
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MEG (Micro Experimental Growing) is the brainchild of a team of Italian engineers, who is looking to demonstrate that just about anything can be grown in any location
The MEG greenhouse allows the user to create the perfect growing environment from their smart device
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The MEG greenhouse allows the user to create the perfect growing environment from their smart device
Light cycles, ventilation, temperature, irrigation. soil acidity and alkalinity can all be managed via the app
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Light cycles, ventilation, temperature, irrigation. soil acidity and alkalinity can all be managed via the app
MEG monitors the growth and health of the plants inside
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MEG monitors the growth and health of the plants inside
MEG monitors the growth and health of the plants inside
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MEG monitors the growth and health of the plants inside
Driven by an Arduino controller, the user can control important metrics to create the ideal environment of their plants to prosper
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Driven by an Arduino controller, the user can control important metrics to create the ideal environment of their plants to prosper

Between potting parsley, curating coriander and tending to tomatoes, a vegetable patch requires a fair amount of work and even more know how. But what if you could call on an online community to keep everything in in working order when you hit the limits of your gardening prowess? The MEG Open Source Greenhouse is an internet-connected indoor microclimate designed to tap into the collective knowledge of green-thumbs around the world.

MEG (Micro Experimental Growing) is the brainchild of a team of Italian engineers looking to demonstrate that just about anything can be grown in any location. The greenhouse is around the size of a vending machine and provides a microclimate which can be managed through a phone or tablet.

Driven by an Arduino controller, the user can control important metrics to create the ideal environment of their plants to prosper. To this end, light cycles, ventilation, temperature, irrigation, soil acidity and alkalinity can all be managed via the app.

Driven by an Arduino controller, the user can control important metrics to create the ideal environment of their plants to prosper
Driven by an Arduino controller, the user can control important metrics to create the ideal environment of their plants to prosper

MEG also monitors the growth and health of the plants. So if a user happens upon a recipe for success for a particular plant, they can repeat the growing process down to the last drop of water and beam of light. This can then be shared with the MEG online community. By the same token, if the user hits a roadblock or a plant's life is in jeopardy, they can reach out for some gardening tips.

At this stage, if MEG were a plant it would not be much more than a seedling, though the engineers do hold high hopes. They are currently looking to raise funds on crowdfunding platform Eppela to produce a fully functioning prototype. From there, the aim is to install five of the greenhouses in metro stations around Milan next year to demonstrate proof of concept. The machines would then be donated to agrobiological researchers.

You can hear from the team behind MEG in the video below.

Source: MEG

MEG su EPPELA per Hack the Expo!

3 comments
Nicholas Searle
aha - yup the Japanese call these inventions shindoku - they're meant to satirise the society from which they come Kind of the point of gardening is .... gardening. Its kinda nice to see and touch and smell the plants.
Bob Flint
So how much to grow a few carrots vs. 29 cent package of seeds in a pot by the windowsill? Have the inventors lost their smarts to a phone or tablet device?
Riaanh
This far more valuable than what the previous commenters make it out to be. One day when our species have been driven either underground or into space by a global catastrophe, we will be thankful for the database and methods developed by these systems. Remember there are thousands of different plants which takes time to grow. Having a database of which type of environment suits every plant is extremely valuable. Even traditional crop growing on the farm will benefit from this research, since variables like the acidity of soil - chemical composition of the soil, etc, etc, can more accurately be monitored, controlled and isolated to establish the optimum growth patterns.
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