One of my greatest challenges so far has been to get the Universal Robotics simulator up and running. Not using it, but just installing it. Having never used Linux before it was a challenge to even set it up, when used to automatic Windows installs. However an excellent PDF showing screenshots of the install can be found at the folllowing link and was a distinct improvement on the older instructions.
The trouble was due to my not having extracted the rar file (similar to zip but doesn't look like it, thus the confusion). Once this was done, it was pretty easy.
Now I need to learn to use it!
It was with great joy that our first hydroponic kits arrived yesterday. My daughter and I built them together and it was great to see how easy these were to build. I had my reservations about using kits, feeling that I should go for commercial custom made racks, but I can see how these are attractive for their ease of use. I will be able to concentrate on whether the lighting adapter is working, rather than fixing my garden! As you can see, I made building a family affair and much fun was had by all.
After so long stuck at a desk going through literature reviews, reading articles on vertical farming, interviewing agritechnology experts and brainstorming, the time is finally here to put the foot to the accelerator and get going with the practical part of our research.
The aim is to build a small indoor farm inside an insulated shipping container, using LED grow lights, temperature control and our special adapter on one of the growing racks. We'll be measuring growth, and wellbeing of the plants. Ideally all the nutrient feeds will be automatic but this will depend on how much money we can raise.
The hydroponic kits are ordered one to use with our adapter and one for control.
We need a mobile air conditioner to maintain temperature and humidity control, LED grow lights, nutrients, seeds, seed planters, sensors and electrical equipment. Ideally we would like to have automated nutrient control but that will depend on how much money we can raise!
And that's the second part of the journey, our fundraiser is now live https://www.pledgeme.co.nz/projects/6799-vertical-farming-a-collaborative-science-experimentwww.pledgeme.co.nz/projects/6799-vertical-farming-a-collaborative-science-experiment
I just have to hope that there are other people as keen as me to figure out a solution to reducing our water and land needs for food supply, and making it more local and accessible. Plus the added bonus of upskilling our youth on agritech, automation and robotics.