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The Internet of Things is coming to your hydroponic garden

Engadget Engadget 15/06/2016 Andrew Tarantola
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It was only a matter of time. The Internet of Things has already come for our vaporizers, now it is back for our hydroponic grow ops. Behold the Gro.io, an all-inclusive hydro system that's nearly fully automated. The brains behind this system is the Gro.hub. This central computing tower runs an embedded Linux OS on a 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 Processor and processes signals from ten separate remote sensors. These monitor things like water temperature, level, pH and flow.

The Hub uses all of this information to keep track of system conditions and disperse the appropriate amount of nutrients, light and water to keep everything in balance. Additionally, instead of outputting all that information to a local monitor, the Gro.io will push it to the branded iOS app on your phone via the tower's integrated Wi-Fi receiver. The app allows you to monitor the long term growth of your plants (presumably all eight weeks of it), adjust nutrient and light levels and receive notifications if anything goes awry. Like conventional systems, the Gro.io uses 20 gallon buckets to house individual plants under an array of either three or five 60W LED bulbs -- 180W and 300W total output, respectively. That's enough light to grow up to six plants simultaneously.

The Gro.io is curently on pre-sale. The Hub itself will retail for $1000, the rest of the setup will cost you an additional $700 to $1775 depending on how many buckets you go with (also how big they are) and what sort of lighting setup you chose. Of course, the system is totally modular so if you want to forgo the Hub or already have a set of lights, you can totally buy it piecemeal. The Gro.io is expected to ship in August 2016, while a UK version is reportedly still in the works.

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