AutoMicroFarm is like solar panels, but for your food.
What if you could grow 90% of the food essentials that your family needs--vegetables, fruits, fish, nuts, and beans--in an area the size of a two-car garage? What if that food kept you healthy and skinny? What if the time to maintain it took less than looking after your vegetable garden? What if the ongoing cost for this was 90% less than groceries cost you now? What if it paid for itself within two years?
This is the system we are working on, called AutoMicroFarm: an automated farm system that enables you, the gardener, to grow 90% of your food with a system that replaces time, effort, and agricultural expertise with design, technology, and software. In technical terms, this project is an open-source aquaponics system with enough sensors, monitoring and automation to make it easy to maintain.
We are currently experimenting with a proof-of-concept prototype (Figure 1). We have already achieved a yield that, when scaled, would be able to provide 50% of the food needed in a 40 m^2 area. We feel confident that the yield can be doubled with the needed improvements; literature suggests that commercial aquaponics yields are comparable to our goal.
We have started the design of the AutoMicroFarm system. Figure 2 depicts a Sketchup model of one AutoMicroFarm unit, large enough (~5 m^2) to provide 90% of the food for one adult. Please keep in mind that this is a concept rendering; no plumbing, pumps, siphons, etc. are shown and the first prototype (not to mention the final product) will look a lot different.
Figure 3 is a concept sketch of four AutoMicroFarm systems located on a roof above the garage of a house. These systems can be installed in rural, suburban, and some urban locations.
ABOUT THE ENTRANT
Type of entry:teamTeam members:Pavel Likhonin
Number of times previously entering contest:never
Andrei's favorite design and analysis tools:Online CAD as good as SolidWorks (doesn't exist yet)
Andrei's hobbies and activities:Saving the World
Andrei belongs to these online communities:Hacker News, Reddit, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter
Andrei is inspired by:Extreme Manufacturing, Apple products, SpaceX, Tesla Motors, Permaculture
Software used for this entry:Sketchup