The origin for this idea came from both a need and an opportunity. My business was founded in 2013, the year before recreational marijuana dispensaries became active in Colorado. In this lay a great opportunity. Many people will be profiting from the growth, distribution, and sale of cannabis itself, but my eyes fell on the personal user. Here in lies the target market and need for an autonomous greenhouse. There are many medical users already who are unable to physically garden due to old age or disability. They clearly have a need for a gardening system they could control from the comfort of their homes with a tablet or smartphone. With the growth now of recreational users, there are more people who would be able to afford such a system as well. By taking advantage of the booming recreational market, I can develop prototypes and first editions, eventually developing a sleek efficient system that can be sold to the masses.
I myself am not a green thumb, and know that many others are on the same page. The end goal of this project is to have an easy to use web interface to setup and control the growth and maturity of whatever plants are in the greenhouse. A user would essentially specify what plants are in the greenhouse and when they want them to mature and produce, and the greenhouse will take care of the rest. It will monitor temperature and keep it out of extreme zones. The watering cycles will be automatic based on plant selections, but can be overridden if the user chooses to do so. The lighting cycles will change automatically when it is time for the crops to produce. While the final greenhouse design will have it's own rain water collection and recirculation systems, the pumps of the preliminary system will pull from a designated reservoir that may still require manual refilling. Either way the user will receive an alert when the reservoir is low and/or empty.