Welcome to Alpha Centauri. We are currently looking to bring the Adaptable Technology Growth Unit (AdaptiGrow) to market and are working towards a go-to-market crowdfunding campaign.

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Also, check out our blog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We all like to grow things. Or at least we would, if we had the time, the knowledge and for many, a garden. Seeing things grow is cool, and picking stuff from our plants that we can then eat is thrilling.

Many of us, especially in cities, live in spartan environments that have become removed from the life that sustains us. People talk about growing something at home, but it rarely happens, and if does, it’s often a fad. There’s just nothing that makes it truly easy and fit into the lifestyle we want to have.

Until now.

We can now have the definitive growth tool. Nothing can be simpler than this. A perfect fit for every lifestyle and environment.

Easy, hardy, efficient and fun.

AdaptiGrow is the ultimate expression of simple complexity. A sophisticated union of biology and technology that can be operated with the tap of a button.

This planter gives whatever you want to grow the conditions it wants most, giving you undreamed-of results. Want delicious tomatoes? Plop in a seed or seedling and in weeks you’ll be harvesting punnet after punnet.

 

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This is a radical invention, designed to bring the future into the present. It is a logical extension of the traditional planter, the most simple form, just orders of magnitude more convenient and capable.

Hi, I’m Gabriel, a final year horticulture student from New South Wales, and AdaptiGrow is my answer to what I am missing on the shelves. My patent-pending invention is what I would love to have in my home.

Over several years of tinkering around at home and in the lab after hours, I’ve tested all the key components of AdaptiGrow and I’m ready to go.

With your help I can bring this to you, and you can be first in line to launch and receive something truly innovative. The implications of this are significant, this technology, this configuration of technology is as efficient as it gets.

Beyond personal enjoyment, I believe AdaptiGrow is a first step towards the productivity enhancement the horticultural industry needs in a world of growing agricultural land scarcity. The more we grow at home, the less strain agriculture somewhere else puts on an ecosystem.

 

Let’s decorate our spaces with life.

We can do this with the Adaptable Technology Growth Unit; a synergism of information technology, cutting edge engineering and biology.

Made for anyone, to grow anything.

The AdaptiGrow – a practical fixture in and around the modern home.

Press a button and watch – or take more control than you ever have before. Whatever you like. Outside or inside.

Grow what you want wherever you want and get the results that you imagine.

AdaptiGrow is great to look at and eat! Edible decoration.

Or grow something funky that you probably shouldn’t eat. Whatever.

 

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AdaptiGrow is energy independent (solar) and looks after your plant for you. Simply select what you would like to grow on the display and hit ‘grow.’ Place seeds or seedlings into the growing medium to the depth specified on the packet or label and add the nutrient liquid that came with your device through the ejectable funnel.

Forgot about your plant for a month? No problem. AdaptiGrow recycles water and your plant will be fine.

Diameter: 30 cm (11.81 in)

Height: 33 cm (12.99 in)

 

 

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AdaptiGrow controls:

> Nutrient concentrations

> Water input rate; water cycling is regulated precisely so your plant gets the water it needs for optimum productivity.

> Temperature

> pH (pH is monitored and pH irregularities are input into the system decision framework along with all other environmental variables. For example, a damaging pH would reduce water input to minimum until the problem is corrected. pH recommendations are made to the user and an importance level is assigned to these potential pH modifications.)

The regulation of these environmental factors occurs interdependently. This means that they are assigned different relative priorities depending on the particular program running, e.g. nutrient concentration and water flow relationship or pH and water flow, or the relationship between the three and so on. Requirements like particular ideal nutrient level at a particular time, are weighed against other factors, such as the level of saturation (implication for aeration) at that particular time. All of the controlled factors are intricately connected;

AdaptiGrow is capable of the latest machine learning. This is made possible exclusively through the system’s unique internal configuration, allowing the AdaptiGrow’s sensors and functions to operate as one organism, and not simply standalone.

The system will rewrite itself in response to the actual performance of the plant. Through a continual process of adaptation, this technological/biological unity will produce the greatest result for the lowest cost. Period.

Goodbye grocery bills.   

The longer you leave your plant unattended, or the more difficult its environment becomes, the more the system will prioritise its functions in order to survive for the longest possible time. Like any organism worth its evolutionary salt.

When the planter eventually runs low on liquid/nutrients, it notifies the user via a light on the display screen, or via the app, along with a status update.

 

 

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As an optional addition, we will manufacture a range of plant supports of a dark and light shade, so, if you need them, you are able to choose from different orientations of rods, supporting your plant the way you like.

Supports will be 60 cm in height; this may be extended by screwing the rods together. Supports come with laterals (cross-rods) of different sizes; supports with cross-rods of 18, 25 and 35 cm (7.09, 9.84 and 13.78 in) are available.

The 18 cm (7.09 in) version is useful for rods facing sideways under the enclosure (see below), whilst the 25 cm (9.84 in) version can fit between two supports located opposite each other (see below).

At least for now, only the 35 cm cross-rod supports will have rods on two sides.

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AdaptiGrow comes with a basic substrate cover to minimise evaporation, or you can choose a slightly more funky looking one if you like the look of it and you wont be needing supports.

Cover2.0 may be useful to stop kids or animals messing around under the plant or with the air vents, as it is more difficult to remove, especially once the plant has gained a bit of mass.

 

 

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Additionally, you may choose an optional enclosure (non-glass; acrylic glass) to create a fully self-contained system, should that fit with your plant and your goals. This requires unstoppering of the air vents, allowing exchange with the enclosure environment. Basic temperature regulation of the enclosure environment will occur.

In this configuration, the time between liquid additions is further increased.

 

 

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When the enclosure is fitted, the system is able to heat this space in addition to any greenhouse effect. There is no segmented monitoring of this space; the system is regulated as one entity, however this may be considered in a future iteration of this product, if we find it may benefit users.

 

 

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Enclosures will be made available in 70 cm (27.56 in) and 1.4 m (55.12 in).

A larger size may be made available at a later point.

AdaptiGrow works with any growth medium, including soil. In the case of soil, productivity will be reduced, however if you live in an area with high/adequate rainfall, this could be a zero maintenance option, if so desired, as you would eliminate the need to add liquid.

Either use the medium supplied or build your own mix. The supplied medium will be optimised for aeration and water behaviour; most effective cost/benefit ratio.

Advanced users may choose to build a custom medium, for instance if a greater energy and nutrient expenditure is accepted in return for a slightly faster growth rate and greater output. I.e. faster liquid cycling and increased aeration to accelerate metabolism. This may mean that the device requires connection to a power point.

A substrate-less (water only) mode is also an option, and an optional inset will be available for those who desire it a few months after full production has begun.

Note that productivity is measured in unit output per unit input, not simply the magnitude of output. Thus optimum productivity is not equal to maximum possible output, unless the cost of all inputs were zero.

This comes about because marginal gain in output per unit of input in biological systems decreases as input increases.

As an analogy; the satisfaction you get per block of chocolate will decrease with the total amount of chocolate you eat until marginal satisfaction gained per additional block of chocolate goes to zero and then becomes negative, because you have eaten so much chocolate that it’s making you miserable.

The purpose of Adaptable Growth Technology is to make this curve as steep as possible, maximising output per unit of input (the synergism of energy, nutrients, water, air, substrate), so that each additional unit of input will generate the maximum possible amount of output.  

 

 

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This technology inevitably looks like it has come from the pages of a futuristic novel, as that is what any technology which is revolutionary must look like. This is not just another tinker here or there, a 2% efficiency gain or a process improvement. This is a paradigm shift.

Together, we can, and will, create the future.

 

 

 

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The world is facing a significant problem; our agricultural productivity is too low to support our population sustainably. The sheer volume of land locked up in agricultural production puts too great a strain on ecosystems for the current models to maintain their net productivity, let alone increase it.

What will happen when the world hits 9 billion people?

The solution is engineering technology to maximise agricultural output per unit area. Instead of growing 5 tomato plants per square meter, we need to grow 30, or 40, or 50.

This kind of productivity can only be achieved hydroponically, beginning with minimising the space requirement of each plant, whilst maximising produce.

We need a technology which can maximise produce per unit of input; energy, water and nutrients.

We need a technology which brings together a package of technological state of the art as efficiently and effectively as possible, creating a new technology altogether. A new tool.

We need something that will revolutionise our food supply. So we can use our resources for other things and restore damaged landscapes. So that we can reduce transportation costs and recycle bio-waste where its nutrients and energy are needed most; the home/neighbourhood of the consumer, not a farm hundreds or even thousands of kilometers away, where the comparative relative (to the plant waste remaining after harvest) energy requirement is much lower (i.e. there’s more use for bio-waste in cities than on farms).

This has not been done. It will be done.

You can be part of it.