Living in an apartment often means limited access to outdoor space to use for gardening, and, ultimately, the chance to grow vegetables. Recognizing that space is limited in these living situations, engineering students from Rice University have devoted their capstone design project to solving that issue.
The team, called Team Växthus, developed an indoor, automated greenhouse for urban dwellers. The greenhouse is modular, small enough for an apartment and fully automated.
Not to be confused with a hydroponic system, the greenhouse is soil-based, making it possible for users to grow an even greater variety of vegetables, including the deep-root kind like carrots, which isn’t possible with hydroponics.
“This allows them to grow fresh produce, everything from leafy greens to herbs to root vegetables,” said mechanical engineering student Harrison Lin.
The greenhouse design is fully automated, and factors such as humidity, moisture and temperature are monitored via sensors.
The team will continue to test the system, attempting to grow different vegetables and modifying the automated system when needed.