Certain pictures draw attention like no other, and that’s what happened when we stumbled upon a Twitter post about “resuscitating supermarket garlic” by [Robots Everywhere]. The more we looked at this photo, the more questions popped up, and we couldn’t resist contacting the author on Twitter – here’s what we’ve learned!
This is an aeroponics cell – a contraption that creates suitable conditions for a plant to grow. The difference of aeroponics, when compared to soil or hydroponics methods, is that the plant isn’t being submerged in soil or water. Instead, its roots are held in the air and sprayed with water mist, providing both plenty of water but also an excess of oxygen, as well as a low-resistance space for accelerated root growth – all of these factors that dramatically accelerate nutrient absorption and development of the plant. This cell design only takes up a tiny bit of space on the kitchen countertop, and, in a week’s time, at least half of the cloves have sprouted!
Much like a garlic bulb, this project has layers to it – in that this aeroponic cell is also a CellSol node! The CellSol project is a distributed communication system that can use LoRa and WiFi for its physical layer, enabling you to build widely spanning mesh networks that even lets you connect your smartphone to it where it’s called for – say, as an internet-connected hub for other devices to send their data through. We’ve covered CellSol and it’s hacker-friendliness previously, and one of the intentions of this design is to show how any device with a bit of brains and a SX1276 module can help you form a local CellSol network, or participate in some larger volunteer-driven CellSol-powered effort.
If, like us, you’re looking at this picture and thinking “this is something I’d love to see on my desk”, [Robots Everywhere] has published the STL files for making a hydroponic cell like this at home, as well as all the code involved, and some demo videos. Hopefully, the amount of aeroponics projects in our tips line is only going to increase! We’ve covered Project EDEN before, a Hackaday Prize 2017 entry that works to perfect an aeroponics approach to create an indoor greenhouse. There’s also a slew of hydroponics projects to have graced our pages, from hardware store-built to 3D printed ones!
the garlic is escaping pic.twitter.com/Bz2UQSY6NZ
— Robots Everywhere (@SmallRobotArmy) January 9, 2022
16 thoughts on “Aeroponic Cell Grows Garlic, Forwards CellSol Packets”
This is pretty cool
Thanks! Be sure to check out the version that skips the CellSol node and is run by 555s :)
Oh garlic and good old 555,nice!!
hey it’s been a meme around here for a while :)
Could you use it to grow other stuff? Asking for a friend.
Probably, I’m interested in garlic and basil mostly. You’d have to change the light and ultrasound timer values, but that’s very easy to do
That stuff can get expensive, and wife likes to use a lot.
Oooh, please let me know how it does if you try it!
You shouldn’t be doing hydro or aero with root plants. It’s a recipe for disaster.
Better something with leaves like lettuces or fruits like strawberry
Thanks! I wanted to use a plant that “doesnt’ like it” specifically to test
Prolly faster and cheaper to just buy the 555
yeah, that’s what I did :) for a while it was easier to find a 555 breakout board than a 555 chip, so I did that.
Yes you can grow other stuff, lots of other stuff. Pretty much anything that can grow in humid environments does extremely well with aeroponics. You may need a vapor isolation kind of thingo if you want to grow desert plants and succulents this way (it’s really not my favourite way to grow them).
If you’re talking about growing “other stuff”, yes, it most certainly can.
This also forwards Disaster Radio packets, by the way :)
Ok. Now show us how that sprouted clove turns into a full blown bulb, please.
Will do, but it’ll take a while :)
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