Control Plant Life with Devices in Open-Source Greenhouse
MEG is the world’s first social and automated greenhouse, which lets users control all the key parameters for growing plants
MEG (Micro Experimental Growing) is the world’s first social, open-source and automated greenhouse that lets users monitor and control plant growth parameters through an online platform. They can manage all the aspects necessary for their plants’ life, controlling the internal climate and lighting cycles, straight from their smartphone or tablet.
There is also a social element, as information about cultivation can be acquired or shared with others through a constantly growing knowledge database, which can be accessed by any MEG user. The technology helps people act more efficiently, while still experimenting with their growing performance.
They can precisely control all the key parameters for growing plants, such as light cycles, ventilation, temperature, irrigation, and soil PH. One of MEG’s core values is said to be the custom-designed spectrum-tunable LED lighting engine.
MEG was conceived by Milan-based designer duo Carlo D’Alesio and Piero Santoro. As the architecture and platform is open-source, a growing worldwide community can contribute to continuously improve MEG’s hardware and software, providing the driving-force behind its refinement and knowledge acquisition.
MEG recently won Wired’s ‘Hack the Expo’ contest, and the next stage for the project’s creators is to install five custom MEGs in five metro stations during the 2015 Universal Exposition in Milan. The aim is to demonstrate the potential of open-source systems and the effect free exchange of information may have on the artificial cultivation techniques.
To raise the funds necessary for the development, D’Alesio and Santoro have launched a crowdfunding campaign on the Eppela platform. Contributions will go towards the design and manufacture of the first prototype to be installed during the Expo. The duo’s target is to have a physical, 1:1-scale, working prototype by the end of February 2015.