A lot of people dream about growing their own vegetable garden at home, but just don’t have the time to maintain one. You’ve got to know how much each plant needs watering, how to space them out and how to keep pests out. For non-experts it’s a daunting prospect. That’s where a new robot launched out of Australia on Kickstarter could be of service.
GardenSpace is a static robot which can automatically water plants based on their need, taking the heavy lifting out of back-yard gardening and allowing you to concentrate on the fun of growing your own food or flowers. You just connect it to your water supply and your Wi-fi. A linked app acts as the garden command center and its solar-powered motor means it doesn’t require batteries or external mains power. You can enter the details of the plants in the app and it keeps track of each plant’s health data, like chlorophyll levels, and the temperature of the plant and the soil.
Its motion-sensing, 360 view camera, not only watches the plants, but will also squirt water on trespassing animals come to steal the crops. The app can even tell you what to plant where and reorder seeds for you throughout the year.
GardenSpace can manage the upkeep of 100 square feet, which, says the company, is enough to grow $700 worth of produce a year.
It’s designed to sit in a garden or an allotment rather than a balcony on a high-rise building. Co-Founder James Deamer says “We want to be one of the world’s largest food producers but without owning any farms. But we don’t want to add to the amount of resources put into food. We’ve got all this space in urban environments that could be used for growing food and it’s not because people just can’t manage on their own.”
“We’re collecting data on thousands of varieties of heirloom vegetables that you don’t see in commercial productions, in different growing environments. And that data is really valuable to scientists. So that will become really really valuable. All the knowledge of home gardening at the moment is locked away in books and in deep. One of the most popular features that people were excited about was getting time lapses of growing plants.”
The team developed the project out of the HAX accelerator in China and has so far raised $34,000 on Kickstarter.