Monday, January 26, 2015

CityFarmBKK :: Urban Agriculture

January 26, 2015 -- HeliosLabs For the last several months we've been working on our indoor aquaponics system. With no soil and no natural light, we've managed to get some pretty good results so far. We've also learned a lot about automation. We've managed to keep the water pump running (very easy), have the lights run 12 hours a day (still pretty easy) and automate the feeding of our fish a specific amount at a specific time of day (a little bit harder).

All of this, however, was just the start of a much larger project we've had in mind for a while, called CityFarmBKK. Inspired by the concept behind MIT's CityFarm, it is to be a living and working demonstration of urban agriculture where new systems are developed and tested, and all the information shared with anyone interested.

Already we are nearly done with the second version of the Arduino automatic fish feeder which will be the first component we share online for others to download, 3D print, use, and modify as they see fit.

We still plan on doing an indoor system, to share with people the capabilities of off-the-shelf LED floodlights, a more cost-efficient method of growing indoors without purchasing the effective but very expensive LED grow lights.

Pictured above are all the subsystems we initially plan on working on. It includes an open source solar charge controller, an atmospheric water generator + auto-irrigation system to top off the aquaponics system and water our container garden, and a monitoring system you can access with an Android device.

We in fact have our first moisture and water level sensors ready to be tested with an Arduino. The final prototype will be integrated with the rooftop garden once its up and running. We plan on laying out the rooftop garden perhaps as early as next month (February 2015).

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