Combining Agriculture + Automation

NU AutoAquaponics' goal is to build a fully automated, remote monitored and controlled farming system in our club office that efficiently outputs both fish and plants without human labor for at least one month while minimizing the use of water and electricity.

Aquaponics is a system of farming that grows fish and plants together in a symbiotic manner. It uses 90% less water than traditional farming, requires no synthetic fertilizers, and nearly doubles the growth rate for many crops. The major drawback of aquaponics is the level of technical expertise needed to maintain it compared to traditional farming due to the need to constantly monitor water parameters. Our project focuses on integrating this promising method of agriculture with automation to increase the efficiency of the system and reduce labor input, which is by far the most expensive part of running any farm. We are achieving this by using a network of sensors and computers to automatically regulate the light, nutrient, and water input of the system. These data will then be transferred to a server to allow for real-time access. There is also an extensive plumbing portion to our design that aerates both the plants’ roots and the fish tank while ensuring the efficient transport of key chemicals. Overall, we are striving to automate as much of the farming process as we can to make growing fish and plants possible without human presence.

Our team consists of Software, Electronics, and Plumbing sub-teams, and each of those groups are working diligently to come up with an integrative solution that makes farming more sustainable. Our long-term goal is to empower local schools and businesses by giving them the ability to explore urban agriculture without needing the technical skills to start from scratch with our intuitive and comprehensive design. Please see our quarterly blog to find updates on our project, and feel free to reach out to us any time if you want to learn more about what we do!

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