High Tech Plant Operating System

by High Tech Inc.

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

$1,798 raised

of $50,000 goal

4% Funded Time Expired
Jan 17 2015
ended

Details

Recent Updates


Beta units ship 60 days after funding![Early adopters apply here]. (http://www.hightechgrowing.com/)

High Tech’s Plant OS gives growers the precise controls they need to achieve the ultimate growing conditions for healthy plants. Our easy-to-use hardware and software measures photosynthesis, temperature, humidity and CO2 in real-time. System alerts and notifications allow for fine tuning your garden from anywhere, anytime. Right from your mobile device, manage lights, air conditioners, dehumidifiers and CO2 generators.

Growing is art and science. Trial and error work best with a creative approach then, systematic repeatability. Since Plant OS monitors the metabolic response of your plants, and real-time conditions, you’ll get faster, repeatable, programmable, experimentation. Expect better, faster results in your garden.

Real-Time Growing — Plant OS measures and responds

Set up can be as simple as maintaining your desired environment. However, Plant OS can take you much farther — into a set of dynamic responses based on real-time data from your plants. Real-time growing is your Plant OS garden responding intelligently minute-to-minute to what your plants need.

HOW PLANT OS WORKS

First, the basics: Know Your Grow

Plant OS instrumentation

We begin with sensors and real-time data collection. Because we’re measuring the environment minute-by-minute, we make new levels of precision possible. Measuring the plant in real-time, knowing how it’s responding to surroundings and conditions, is measuring the actual growth and performance of your garden.

THC Meter

The Plant OS base sensor unit goes on the wall of your garden. Every minute, the meter captures, then sends, Temperature, Humidity and CO2 readings to your mobile device. Additional data could include readings from USB plug-in sensors, like the Plant Tachometer Camera. (More information on the camera is below.)

Plant Tachometer Camera

In a typical Plant OS setting, one Plant Tachometer Camera is setup to give you a close-up view of a leaf. That gives you a high-resolution photosynthesis reading for fine-tuning the environment. The second Camera is setup to cover the garden — or a zone — to give an overall average performance data.

Knowing your grow is what makes our new level of precision control possible.

Control your grow

Plant OS controls

Plant OS Power Controllers let you plug in lights, AC, dehumidifiers, fans — just about anything you might need — so you can manually, or automatically, tweak devices, or simply turn them on and off.

Controlling your grow is the art and science of perfecting your growing conditions.

Hack your grow

Plant OS™ Software

This is the corner of the garden where Plant OS™ blooms. When we say ‘hack your grow’ we’re talking about a diverse community of users, sharing experiments, sharing what they know, to elevate the art and science of growing. And it all begins with photosynthesis.

Measuring photosynthesis

Photosynthesis tells you the relative amount of breathing a plant is doing — it’s plant health data. (NASA has been using these kinds of measurements from space for plant health research for 40 years — that isn’t the new technology.)

What is new is Plant OS delivering this technology to your garden.

How Plant OS gets results: Photosynthesis, static conditions and weather

Relative photosynthesis is a bit like a tachometer reading for your plant. If you know how fast your plants are growing, you can quickly measure the effects of different actions.

Cumulative photosynthesis, is similar to an odometer for your grow. Knowing how much growing has taken place, is to know how much production you’ve achieved. By the minute, hour, day and month.

To discover how you get the maximum amount of photosynthesis in a growing cycle, means learning how to get the maximum amount of growing done in a cycle.

And it turns out that when you vary your growing conditions — when you hack your grow — you can produce significantly better results.

At High Tech, our theory is that plants thrive best on a mix — a little bit of stress today, a little bit of zen tomorrow. We still need to run many more tests to learn exactly what changes in the environment produce which results. Actually, many more tests.

And that’s where you, and all of our early supporters, come in.

Hacking your grow is where community intelligence and passion converge. It’s where everything changes.

Making connections, sharing data, shaping the future

When Plant OS is fully operational, monitoring the atmosphere, managing lights, humidity and CO2, and measuring photosynthesis, the plant is fully part of the network.

Fine-tuning the plant performance is now just fine-tuning numbers. Practically speaking, you can now tune those numbers with programs, instead of by hand. Initially, High Tech will make available a number of useful programs, both for garden operations and experimentation. But we’re going well beyond that.

All Plant OS users get a platform to build on to share and trade data and programs. As our growers test and learn and share, we gather important growing data and begin to have a real impact on the future of gardening.

Calling them programs is more than a metaphor. Current development is done in Python, because it tends to be more gardener readable, but with an open API, the options are wide open and you can apply the whole wide world of software development tools. For people who aren’t software developers, this means that code like this seen below, actually does what it says it does:

    	If temperature(room1) > MAX_TEMP(room1) :
                	turn_on_ac(room1)

It’s true that you can do something that simple with a click of a button on the user interface.

But as you start thinking about more complex plans for your garden based on real-time data, you’ll find you’re thinking about writing a program.

    If avg_photosynthesis(room1, now) < avg_photosynthesis(room1, now – 1minute) :
                	 optimize_photosynthesis(room1)

That may be a bit of oversteer, calling the subroutine to maximize photosynthesis does take time for the real world temperature, humidity and co2 to actually change. You might want to compare to an average of samples over a longer period, or you might care more about the close in camera’s relative photosynthesis reading instead of the average. Or, by now you may be thinking about your own strategy for maximizing the real goal: cumulative photosynthesis. Welcome to gardening in the 21st century.

Beta Program

We are looking for a few gardeners for the High Tech Beta program. All Early Adopters are eligible - from our application process, we will select 25 supporters. We are looking for experienced, and new, gardeners with small and large gardens to explore a wide range of use cases.

  1. Be first - The beta phase will last 90-120 days before Early Adopter hardware ships.
  2. Be heard - Beta growers will shape the user interface and software to come.
  3. Be noticed - We will be telling the story of our Beta members and their High Tech user experience. Everyone will get to join in as a few new growers get to learn quickly, and watch as master growers show how it can be done.

Apply for the Beta Program here

Pledge Levels

Here’s what you will receive when you support us. We’ve got eight terrific pledge options. Pick one of our Early Adopter Starter Kits or a Grower’s Package. At a great price, you’ll receive everything you need to grow the High Tech way. You’ll be in on our first production run and be the first gardener on your block with the garden of the 21st century. Or, just get the balling rolling with a Plant Tachometer Camera, a THC Meter or a Power Controller. Know Your Grow, Control Your Grow, Hack Your Grow!


Grow Kits

Starter Kit – The basic tools for one small garden or zone- $899 Early Bird, $999 General.
  • 1 camera
  • 1 THC meter
  • 1 Prosumer Power Controller

Grower’s Package – Deluxe setup for 2 rooms, 8 lights and 8 controlled devices - $1,999 Early Bird, $2,299 General.
  • 3 camera
  • 2 THC meter
  • 1 Prosumer Power Controller
  • 1 Commercial Power Controller

Kit Add-ons* - 8 light room/zone kit - $1,299 Early Bird, $1,399 General

  • 2 x camera
  • THC Meter
  • Commercial Power Controller

*Can be applied to the Starter Kit or Grower’s Package.


Individual Add-ons

Camera - $129
  • Multispectral visual and NIR (near infrared) digital camera
  • 1600x1200 pixels
  • filter package for data channel separation and garden lighting conditions
  • USB plug in
  • Camera mount

THC Meter - $350
  • Wall mounted
  • 3 External temperature probes
  • Internal humidity and Co2 sensors
  • 2 USB ports for add on sensors
  • Wifi and Ethernet connectivity

Power Controller, Prosumer - $550
  • Replaces bank of timers
  • 8 Independent pass thru circuits
  • 120V 10A
  • Wifi and Ethernet connectivity

Power Controller, Commercial - $850
  • Installed by electrician
  • 8 Independent Circuits from main power
  • 120V or 240V per circuit, 10A
  • Wifi and Ethernet connectivity

Plant OS V1.0 BETA
  • UI – Mobile friendly secure web based remote control
    • Dashboard – Real Time View
      • Quick look overall management view
    • Charts – Get under the hood

      • Interactive customizable charts by room or data type.
      • Room status charts
    • Room Control

      • Control Panel – The garden at your fingertips
        • Manual controls and timers for lights, heat, ac, dehumidifier, Co2, fans and user defined types.
      • Plant OS Kernel 1.0 – Run Programs on your garden

        • Manages input and output requests from software and translates them into instructions for the sensors and controls.
        • Select, prioritize and execute Plant OS programs via MCP_API
        • Debian GNU/Linux. Currently on 7.6 Wheezy
    • Administration * Sensor naming and room grouping * Device naming, type and room grouping * Alert settings - Set thresholds and time limits by variable and room for text/email alerts * User Management

    • Auxiliary - Configuration mode – Everything works even if the internet is down

      • Local Wireless Access Point web UI for initial configuration and local control
  • Included Software – (in Python)

    • Limiter – Fundamental program for room control.
      • First instance enforces basic environment limits. Operationally always on.
        • For example: Automatically reduces largest heat source if overheating
      • Second instance with time specific limits in a narrower range is a programmable thermostat, humidity, co2 controller. A specific version named “A Sunny Day” executes a rise and fall of T, H ,C conditions to mimic a sunny day.

    • Automapper – Learns system and garden specifics

      • Experimentally determines system responses to control inputs and maps that data into vector association array (ie figure out which light is hottest so it knows which one to turn off first if overheating)
    • Solver – Photosynthesis Optimizer

      • Iterates over given range of environment variables to determine combination of variables that produces maximum relative photosynthesis. Basic subroutine for automated experimentation.
  • Open API - Write your own programs for your own garden.

    • As of this writing, development is done on our Debian system. A distributed development environment is planned for the Beta program.

How is it being built?

Production schedule

  • Tooling Up – Complete enclosure fit and finish details. Assemble working models.
  • Preproduction – Assembly of beta units and software field testing. Initial assembly and QC determination.
  • Beta Program - Deploy SDK and 3 to 4 thirty day software development cycles
  • Production Phase 1 – Initial production run of 100 units. Refine manufacturing and assembly processes.
  • Production Phase 2 – Full production and shipping.

What’s next for Plant OS?

The next big advance will be in the software that runs on Plant OS. We have our own ideas and we’ll be developing them. But the Open Source model, getting everyone involved, is the clear path to full throttle development in a brand new field.

We do have a few controls and sensors in the Patent Pending phase that will extend the capabilities of the system, but they will have to wait for the next release.

Hydroponics Instrumentation & Control
  • Remote monitoring and control of PH, and nutrient PPM
  • Advanced version for dynamically controlling solution in response to plant health data

Example Use Case – Increase Temp and CO2 while decreasing nutrient solution for ‘sprint’ growth conditions, while measuring Relative Photosynthesis as functional tachometer to precisely gauge plant metabolic rate and stress level. Then, relax environmental conditions while increasing nutrient levels to rest plant, and then repeat cycle to train plant for endurance and maximum growth.

Pot Meter – Soil instrumentation package
  • Monitors PH, moisture, total plant weight, and maps root structure.
  • Real time measurement of root growth focus during vegetative growth
Plant Meter – 3d sensor package
  • 3d volumetric plant measurement
  • Measures real time volume and linear growth, node count and spacing.
  • Plant growth focus in early flowering

About High Tech

Matt King is the founder of High Tech, Inc, has a background in enterprise IT and a passion for bringing new levels of instrumentation and precision controls to gardening.


Credits

High Tech Inc.

At High Tech, we have a passion for bringing new levels of instrumentation and precision controls to gardening.


Matt King

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