Tuesday, February 17, 2015

UrbanAg BKK

February 18, 2015 -- Helios Labs We announced not too long ago about our plans to make a "CityFarm" in Bangkok. It was inspired by MIT's CityFarm project, but apparently the name "City Farm" is very common and already being used by a group in Bangkok.

So we're now going with "UrbanAg BKK" and we've also got some progress to report. We bought and set up a Raspberry Pi B+ (from Home of Maker, Fortune IT Mall). The same night we crashed through the process of using Twython to create automated tweets through our new @UrbanAgBKK account (using this tutorial here). You can see by looking at our timeline, the measured input it was automatically reporting (every minute) was the CPU temperature of our Raspberry Pi.

The next step will be capturing and tweeting images using a webcam. Then, once the rooftop garden is being set up, it will begin sending images specifically of that project. For people interested in following the project, it will be useful for them. But more importantly, it will be useful for us because we'll be able to monitor and literally see it no matter where we are. Eventually we plan on making it a two-way process, where it is sending us data automatically and we are able to send it input over the Internet as well.

Back to the name, UrbanAg BKK,we didn't want to limit it to just rooftops. The original aquaponics prototype we've automated is entirely indoors. The city is an intricate labyrinth of alleys, balconies, rooftops, and odd spaces of all kinds. Filling unused or underused space with agriculture is appealing for many people for so many reason. Where would you build an urban garden? 

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