Portable automated greenhouse

Energy & Sustainability Gardening Technology
Portable automated greenhouse

Cool new entry in our Gadget Freak Design Contest from Brian Merritt:

My project is a portable greenhouse / seed starter that has high tech features and collapses for easy storage. Since a standard greenhouse can overheat if it is closed up or get too cold if it is opened up, mine includes an automatic vent that controls to a user selectable temperature. The user first selects a temperature between 60 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit, by 5 degree increments. Then the greenhouse’s built in sensors and microcontroller automatically adjust how much the vent is opened or closed to help maintain that temperature. And because of its ultra low power design the whole thing can run 24/7 for about a month on just four penlight (AA) batteries!

The design also includes a low-battery warning indicator, a daylight sensor, and a bank of high-intensity LEDs to provide nighttime illumination for inspection purposes. There are more photos in Brian’s Flickr set.

Have you got a clever gadget for the contest? There’s still time to get your entry in, but the deadline is coming up on the 13th. So get cracking!


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I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

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