With our busy lives, it can be difficult to get the proper amount of fresh vegetables in your diet — even more so if you’d like to do without harmful chemicals used in commercial farming processes. Growing your food at home with a hydroponic garden is one solution to both issues, but as outlined in the video below, this task can be more difficult than it might first appear. You’ll need to check and maintain water conditions regularly, and if you go on a trip, you might return to find dead or struggling plants.
As a solution to this conundrum, Scott Paterson and Max Knight have come up with HydroBot, an automated hydroponics controller now funding on Kicksterter. The device runs on a Raspberry Pi Zero along with an Arduino Leonardo. It controls your hydro-garden’s fans or lights wirelessly via a 433MHz connection, and pair of pumps is built-in to add nutrients as needed. Environmental conditions are monitored using temperature, humidity, pH, and water nutrient sensors, and you can check up on everything with a handy web-based interface.
Perhaps best of all, the project is open source, so if there’s something in the code or hardware you need to be adjusted, you’re free to do so. The system’s available at a $600 pledge level, but they claim that it could pay for itself in under six months. Plus, you’ll know the source of your food and you won’t even have to drive to the store to pick it up!