BUILDING FOOD COMPUTERS
The idea started at MIT's Media Lab by a team of really cool and inspiring people who want to create more farmers for the future of food production.
The Food Computer is a "controlled-environment agriculture technology platform that uses robotic systems to control and monitor climate, energy, and plant growth inside of a specialized growing chamber." It's kind of like a smart growing box for plants.
There are many food computers being built around the world. The Food Computer v1.0 ("Rose") was made by me, Adrian, at the TechShop in San Francisco. I'm a maker, architectural engineer, and the founder of Urban AgTech. I started Urban AgTech in 2015 and decided to build Rose after pondering over the intersection of architecture, agriculture, and technology when visiting my family's farm in the Philippines.
2017: Do It Together & Food Computer v2.0
At the end of 2016 in the spirit of the Homebrew Computer Club, Urban AgTech started the Homebrew Food Computer Club. As with our historical precedent, we see the potential of this technology and are interested in making it more accessible to everyone.
Beyond 2017: Experimentation, Food Servers, and Food Data Centers
What happens after we build the Food Computer v2.0? For one, we will be one step closer to our vision. Once the v2.0 is up and running, we will be able to start having deeper conversations related to the plant science and experiment with the climate recipes. Also, with a common platform to collaborate on with other food computer builders around the world, developers will be able to improve the open source technologies.
We can also set our sights on the next size up from the food computer, the food server. Whereas the food computer is a wonderful experimentation platform and educational tool, the food server can be used to explore production.
HOW WE HACK
Twice a month, we meet in person to discuss our individual progress on different aspects of the food computer. Sometimes we present our work to the group. Other times we put our heads together to figure out solutions.
Independently and together, we build the hardware and software components of the food computer. The project requires backgrounds in many different fields including mechanical engineering, computer programming, and botany.
Along with making the food computer, we make time to communicate to the world what we are doing and involve those who want to follow our story. Alone we can accomplish little. Together we can make great change.
Join the Homebrew Food Computing Club
On Slack, you can join our conversations as we build the Food Computer v2.0. Sign up below and we'll send you a Slack invite!
On Meetup, you can find out when and where to meet up with us in person to learn more about the project or help us build the Food Computer v2.0. We meet regularly each month.