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FAQ

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Can I buy a Personal Food Computer Kit?

We're working on it!

Is it Open Source?

Yes! The code and hardware plans are all open source.

You can also purchase a HW kit with all of the components conveniently collected (see above).

What's the difference between the 1.0 and the 2.0?

The Food Computer v1.0 was our first go a the problem of creating an open source tabletop growing chamber. It could run limited environmental recipes for light and nutrients.

The Food Computer v2.0 is our next-gen system. Some of its goals are:

  • Stable environmental control with robotic feedback loops
  • More sensors and more ways to control the environment
  • An new open source source chassis with better insulation, and cheaper to manufacture, but still easy to source from scratch.
  • A better app for controlling climates.
  • Data collection, so nerdfarmers and scientists can make use of environmental data.
  • A scalable software stack that can be used in larger scale applications like Food Servers

What's a Climate Recipe?

What is Hydroponics/Aquaponics/Aeroponics/Fogponics?

Hydroponics is an irrigation method for growing plants. We use it to recreate climates with Climate Recipes.

There are lots of kinds of hydroponics. You can drip water over plants, mist the plants, or use soil.

What is a Food Computer?

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.

For more details check out this pagehttp://openag.media.mit.edu/hardware/

Why Food Computers?

See our TED Talk.

How can you make one?

The plans are all open source (see Food Computer v2.0). You can also purchase a kit.

Where can I find the parts?

What can I grow?

Lots of things! Leafy green and herb are good first choices. They are fast, easy to grow and fun. We've grown lots of plants that are frequently grown hydroponically (basil, tomato, chard, kale, …) and a lot of plants that aren't usually grown hydroponically too. Join the experiment and see if you can grow your favorite plant!

How long will it take to grow my food?

It depends on the plant. Many leafy greens and herbs take 2-3 weeks to grow from seed to full plant. Tweaking the Environmental Recipe can also cause faster plant growth, more leaves, and different tastes.

How much will it cost to build?

How much will it cost to keep it running?

How long will it take to build my food computer? How much time should I allot?

What tools will I need to buy?

Do I need a team to build it? Can I do it myself?

1-2 experienced makers can source and build a Food Computer v2.0 from scratch. We're also putting together pre-sourced kits which makes things a bit easier.

Can I eat the food that grows in it?

We like to use food-safe bins and safe fertilizers so that the plants we grow are edible. Yum!

Of course, the Food Computer is open source, so safety is up to you! Make sure to use clean water and food-safe materials/ingredients if you plan to eat your plants.

How can I contribute to this project?

Yay! We welcome contributions from anyone. Here are some ways you can help:

If I’m a non-technical person, how can I help out?

Who started this food computer?

How much do you think it will cost to buy one in the future?

If I live in a very cold place, can I still build a food computer? Will it wreck the hardware?

I live in a small community, how can I find other collaborators around me?

Do I have to go to MIT to work on the food computer?

Nope! There are folks all over the world building Food Computers, and we welcome contributions from anyone.

How can I get started and help? Do I need to email anyone or sign up online?

Where are the CAD files?

What is the brain? What do you put into the brain? How do you get data out of the brain?

If you wanted to troubleshoot…where would you go?

The forum is a great place to start if you have a question.

Debugging tools/scripts

Troubleshooting or doing development on a Food Computer? Check out development for tools.

How much of the v1.0 is portable to the v2.0

And, if any mods are possible, how to upgrade the v1.0 to the v2.0?

Can I set up a developer environment on my laptop

(i.e., not Linux/RPi but on OSX/Windows)?

faq.txt · Last modified: 2017/05/15 01:20 by spaghet