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Intelligent In-House Mini-Automated Farming

Rakesh Joe Francy 1, Prashant Kumar Soori 2, and Sibi Chacko 2
1. Phoenix Contact Middle East-FZ LLC
2. Heriot Watt University Dubai Campus, School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Dubai, U.A.E.
Abstract—Fresh Green consumption is increasing everyday due to large population growth and this requires fertile area to cultivate, energy-to maintain and transport these developed crops to the consumers. It also requires water to grow the crops from germination to the harvesting stage. An intelligent In-house fully automated farming cabinet has been designed and fabricated which is ready to put into practice in the Middle East region and in regions where it is extremely difficult to grow fresh herbs due to unfavourable climatic conditions. The product is also capable of growing and maintaining the crops completely automatic without any effort by the user. User without any prior knowledge in knowing how to grow these vegetables can grow herbs/vegetables right in the kitchen without the use of any chemicals/pesticides. The fabricated cabinet (or product) comprises of hydroponic systems, artificial grow lights and automation systems. User friendly design has been accomplished in terms of smart automated system to control the stages from germination to harvesting and in maintaining the parameters at optimum conditions. The developed system is capable of maintaining pH, and Electric conductivity (EC) of water, Humidity, temperature and right light spectrums to grow crops in the cabinet as per the required standards. Programmable Logic Controller ILC 171 ETH 2TX module is used and this controller is programmed using PCWorx software. Human-Machine-Interface (HMI) Touch panel is utilised to interact with the machine. Using this cabinet, six different types of herbs were grown by consuming approximately seven liters of water a month.
Index Terms—artificial grow lights, automation, farming, Human Machine Interface (HMI), Programmable Logic Controller (PLC)

Cite: Rakesh Joe Francy, Prashant Kumar Soori, and Sibi Chacko, "Intelligent In-House Mini-Automated Farming," Journal of Advanced Agricultural Technologies, Vol. 3, No. 4, pp. 286-291, December 2016. Doi: 10.18178/joaat.3.4.286-291
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