Device that automates plant cultivation in hydroponics designed in Novosibirsk

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The device that allows automating the process of plants cultivation in hydroponics was developed by a resident company of the Novosibirsk Science Campus Technopark. That information was given by Roman Rybakov, the head of the project “Umny dozator” / “Smart dispenser”.

“This device is designed for cultivation of plants in hydroponics without using soil but using nutrient solution (mineral or organic fertilizers dissolved in water). The complexity of this technology is that every plant needs its own specific conditions that change with the plant growth; during each period the plant has its specific demands,” said Rybakov.

Monitoring and maintaining in the desired range different parameters of the nutrient solution and the microclimate in the greenhouse is the most difficult part of the process of plants cultivation in hydroponics. According to Rybakov, the Novosibirsk developers’ device will allow to automate the process. The device controls the necessary condition via various sensors and, if necessary, pumps nutrients into the solution, turns on and off ventilation, regulates the temperature and acidity of the solution.

Such a technology, said the TASS’s interlocutor, can be applied in amateur cultivation of plants as well as in large agricultural complexes; only the number of sensors, pumps and other elements of the complex will vary, depending on the required number of plants.

Now, explained Rybakov, the device works in test mode and successfully controls a number of parameters. The project participants intend to improve the device within two or three months, and in the future it will be launched to the market.

According to the developers, the device has no foreign analogs. In Russia another device of similar purpose was designed; however, it only allows controlling the acidity of the nutrient solution.

Hydroponics is a method of plants cultivation, in which plants get all the essential nutrients from the nutrient solution, not from soil. This technique has been used since the 30s of the last century and now it is widespread, especially in arid regions, where the plants that don’t need watering save scarce water.

Text and pictures by TASS