Automated Hydroponics System: Farm Automation

Hydroponics Farm Automation

While we all were growing up we were taught that all the crop and farm cultivation is done in the soil; the type and the mineral content of the soil decide the outcome of the cultivation. Now in the second decade of the twenty first century, situations have changed.

The fact that soil is needed for cultivation is a thing of the past. Enter hydroponics, a new and innovative way to cultivate vegetables, fruits and plants without soil. Instead, the plants would be fed with liquid mineral solutions infused with nutrients. The main highlight of this system is that plants are fed with the appropriate nutrients required for their growth, blooming and pre-harvesting stages; normally they have to hunt down for nutrients in the soil by themselves.

Hydroponics farms setup

More people are trying to set up hydroponics farm, since it does not require a large area and there is a very minimal need of water in the cultivation process. The emergence of IoT has allowed farmers to automate the hydroponic agriculture process to a certain extent. From maintaining the water temperature to a certain level to automating the nutrient mixing, every single process can be done via this innovative technology. We can also set up thresholds for optimum water temperature and pH levels, which upon reaching can trigger actions correspondingly.

For e.g. during winter, water has a tendency to freeze in some areas which in turn may hamper the cultivation process altogether. Water temperature sensors deployed over the hydroponics farm can sense the temperature loss and alert the farmer accordingly. Similarly the pH sensor can detect a change of nutrient levels and can pump in the minerals in suitable amounts. An assortment of sensors and controllers like ESP-8266, Arduino and Raspberry Pi etc. can be used to instrument and automate a hydroponics farm.

WeMakeIoT for Hydroponics farm

Our IoT team had developed a full-fledged smart farming solutions platform to automate the hydroponic farming. This platform is suitable for setting up an automated hydroponics farm as well. The smart farm platform set up in a hydroponics farm will have integrated sensor units to sense water temperature, pH levels etc. and will send the corresponding sensor data to a gateway that could collect and process the data to the actuator or the notification center to take necessary actions.

Since hydroponics farm is normally set up in a green house, the platform would be easy to integrate. You can read more about our smart farm platform here.

In short, hydroponics is a farming technology for the future and with the implementation of IoT we can automate the whole process in an easy and effective manner.  The quality of the produce we get from this cultivation is also pretty high.