UB Students Create Smart Growth Box for Microgreens Planting

The increasing population growth has resulted in a change in land use. Many use it as residential areas. Agricultural land is becoming less and less which in turn has an impact on the reduction of vegetable food production.

The concept of urban farming began to spread to use narrow land in urban areas to become productive agricultural land, to farm.

One type of plant that is suitable for the urban farming method is microgreens. It is green vegetables that have a very high nutritional content because they are harvested when they are very young, which is 7-14 days of the seedling.

Nutrients in microgreens are even higher 4 to 40 times than vegetables in general.

Its small size makes it not require a large area of ​​land. The short growing period of microgreens is suitable for cultivation in urban areas with limited land.

Unfortunately, microgreens are still not well known by the Indonesian people. So, mistakes are often made in their cultivation which can cause mold or even plant death before harvest.

As one of the efforts to overcome these problems, three Universitas Brawijaya students created a Smart Growth Box Microgreens based on the Internet of Things.

This innovation monitor and controls the growth media of microgreens plants automatically to minimize the growth of fungi and obtain maximum yields.

With the guidance of Sapriesty Nainy Sari, ST., MT., this work has succeeded in obtaining research funding in the 2021 Student Creativity Week in the field of Karsa Cipta.

Those three students are I Made Ananta Wiragunawan (Electrical Engineering 2019), Taufiqur Rohman (Electrical Engineering 2018), and Putu Ayu Eka Pramitha (Biotechnology 2020).

The Smart Growth Box is ergonomically designed and equipped with wheels to make it easier for users to move this tool.

The energy source of this tool uses electricity with a voltage of 220 volts AC, there is a plug on the back of the tool that can be connected to the socket.

Smart Growth Box is divided into two parts; seed seeding media and growth media. In the seedling media, the cover is made of black acrylic so that sunlight cannot enter to maximize the germination of microgreens.

In the seeding media, three parameters are maintained; temperature, air humidity, and humidity of the growing media which are controlled with a DHT 22 sensor and a soil moisture sensor and actuators in the form of an exhaust fan and a water spray nozzle.

The growth media used the same sensors and actuators as in the seedling media, the difference was in the material of the lid, which was made of transparent acrylic so that sunlight could be transmitted optimally.

In addition, this section also has a TEMT6000 sensor and LED growth light that will activate if the intensity of sunlight is not sufficient to support the growth of microgreens.

Smart Growth Box is integrated with IoT using an interface in the form of an android-based application, Blynk.

To operate this tool, users only need to select the type of microgreens they want to plant in the Blynk application so that later the Smart Growth Box will adjust the conditions of the four parameters according to the type of microgreens planted.

This tool is also equipped with a water storage container equipped with an ultrasonic sensor to facilitate the automatic watering of plants.

When the water has run out there will be a notification on the application so that the user knows that the water has run out without checking regularly.

When the microgreens germination period is over, a notification is also sent to the user so that they know when it is the right time to move the planting media tray from seeding media to growth media.

“Blynk will also notify you when the microgreens are ready to be harvested. So this SGB can be an alternative for people who do not have land but want to cultivate microgreens,” explained Team Leader, I Made Ananta Gunawan. (humasft)