Watch as the Temboo team reveals how a smart architecture app can be used to improve urban agriculture.
With urban populations expected to continue rising for the foreseeable future, this will lead to an increase in demand for access to nutritious food in cities. As recent Maker projects have demonstrated, not only does urban farming offer an ideal alternative to satisfy this demand, it has a number of additional benefits as well. For instance, growing food locally minimizes carbon footprint, serves as a source of income generation, and provides employment opportunities in the community.
Limited space, high pollution and variable access to light can make urban agriculture a challenge, however. In a recent episode of their Deconstructing IoT video series, the Temboo team created a smart architecture app to show how vertical farming could be integrated into the built landscape to overcome these obstacles. In doing so, they were able to control the delivery of natural and artificial light to their crops using the Nexmo API, and then base their decisions on UV and weather forecast information from EnviroFacts and Yahoo Weather.
In order to make this project possible, Temboo employed an Arduino Yún (ATmega32U4), a light or temperature sensor, two transistors, switchable glass, a little wiring, a breadboard, and some artificial light. How does the system work, you ask? As soon as the sensor detects suboptimal growing conditions around the plant, it triggers a phone call alert using the Nexmo Voice CaptureTextToSpeechPrompt Choreo. This notification can give a user the option of either turning on an artificial light source or shading their plant with switchable glass. In order to help make that decision, a call alert can also be configured to offer real-time UV and weather information, which is obtained using the EnviroFacts UVForecast HourlyUVByZipcode and Yahoo Weather GetWeatherByAddress Choreos. From there, they would simply have to press a number key to make the glass opaque and turn on the lights.
What’s more, the app can extend its capabilities to include ideal growing conditions based on plant species, email notifications, real-time memos for ready-to-be-picked crops, and even mobile payments via Stripe. With spring officially here, the timing couldn’t be better to get started! You can watch the entire episode of Destructing IoT below for a step-by-step breakdown of the build, as well as find each of the aforementioned Choreos on the Temboo website.