Space plants project could be astronaut game changer
VIDEO NEWS RELEASEUniversity of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Chief Communications Officer, UH Communications
Link to video and sound (details below): https://bit.ly/2HbwW5A
WHAT: An autonomous hydroponic growing system called Box Farm, designed and developed by University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa students may be an important tool for space travel someday.
WHERE: Box Farm is about to be tested at the NASA-funded Inflatable Lunar-Mars Habitat at the University of North Dakota.
WHO: A team of UH Mānoa engineering students
WHEN: May 16–24, 2019
WHY: To cut down on the time researchers spend tending to plants in space. Habitat administrators say participants have been spending an average of more than two hours a day caring for plants. Box Farm can also help to advance autonomous greenhouses for food sustainability on Earth.
HOW: The students’ research focused on robotics, image processing, sensor systems, botany, interplanetary communication and autonomy. They also designed and printed custom planters, etc. in 3-D for the Box Farm system.
The robotic plant growing module can be scaled up to take care of hundreds of plants, essentially automating the entire growing process.
The Box Farm team won first place at the UH Mānoa College of Engineering Francis J. Rhodes Montgomery innovation competition in April.
BROLL: (1 minute 29 seconds)
0:00-0:57, 9 clips: robotic arm and students working on the Box Farm, with plants growing
0:57-1:05: the Box Farm computer system
1:05-1:29, 4 clips: students working with custom designed planters using the 3-D printer
Preston Tran, UH Mānoa engineering student (11 seconds)
"My hope and dreams for Box Farm is this becomes a platform for automated plant growing. And it can also not only help out in the aerospace side of things, but also help out in the science research."
James Thesken, UH Mānoa engineering student (9 seconds)
"Box Farm is important because we have to move towards a goal of sustainable agriculture and I think automated practices are the best way to do that."
Gabor Paczolay, UH Mānoa engineering student (6 seconds)
"This will cut down on manual labor time and also increase the productivity of the crew, as well."