High Tech Plant Operating System

Plant OS™ The garden for the 21st century. Perfect your garden from the palm of your hand.

Nov 18, 2014

Project update 1 of 1

Larger Greenhouse Application

Someone@somewhere.com submitted a question about your project, "High Tech Plant Operating System":


How would this work in a larger greenhouse environment with many different
types of plants requiring different conditions? Would you need multiple
components to accurately measure the different plants and environments?


One THC Meter will measure the Temperature, Humidity and Co2 levels in a zone. It does have 3 individual external temperature sensors that can be placed up to 6’ away, but a larger greenhouse would need more than just 3 data points to adequately measure the environment with any precision. How large a zone it covers is a question of your garden AC or HVAC, and how detailed you want to get with your measurements. Typically a zone can be in the 100 to 200 safe range. Both the Starter Kit and Growers Package have add on Zone Kits which controls 8 additional lights (or any devices), plus a THC Meter and 2 cameras.

Measuring multiple plants photosynthesis could be done with one camera per plant, which would give the most precise reading of relative and cumulative photosynthesis. An average reading over an area with multiple plants is a very useful metric as well, and we use a combination of both, from two cameras per zone, as our standard setup. One camera gives a close up view of one plant for fine tuning, and another covers the whole zone for performance measurement. In theory, you could plug in up to 256 cameras to the THC Meter base with USB hubs, and do a whole lot of photosynthesis measuring, but there are likely some practical limits before that point.

An elegant software solution, which any Plant OS user could write, in Python, right now, and be their own software to run and share or license, would be to do a very little image processing so the user could define sectors in the image around different plants, and then measure those sectors individually. That way you could use one camera and still get specific readings from different plants in its field of view. We could put this on the list of projects and write this in house, but the power of Open Source is in not bottle necking development and making everyone wait till we can get to it.

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