Itty bitty hydroponic grow box

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The Micro Grow Project's LabBox Grower is a small automated hyrdoponic growing system that uses a microcontroller to automates watering cycles, light schedules, and temperatures. It can be controlled and monitored via the Web or mobile phone, and can tweet about its condition.

Imagine, growing your favorite plant, herb or medicine in a micro container utilizing advance hydroponic technologies. A fully contained system that uses an automated drip system and high intensity LEDs to deliver everything your plant needs to mature to harvest.  An open source software and product design where we all can collaborate to grow an endless supply of fresh greens and herbs year round.
Micro Grow Project's LabBox Grower


  1. I can kill plants just by thinking about them, so this particular thing isn’t for me, but considering what it is, it’s incredibly useful to have it internet-aware.

    I can think of a dozen simple things in my house whose marginal utility would be greatly increased if they were able to receive a single bit of information (like, ON vs. OFF) every hour via the wifi connection I already have.

    Anyone have any theories on what the holdup is? Why doesn’t everything ship with a dead-simple control-it-from-Twitter (or phone, or whatever) interface? Of course when that happens, I’ll be the Luddite snarking at everyone who buys an internet-connected nose hair trimmer, but for now it’s a serious question.

    1. yeah, looks like you could maybe get an eighth for two months work.

      now if they made a room-sized one on the other hand…

      1. exactly, anyone who has actually seen a cannabis plant would realize this is utterly useless for growing weed.

        you would need a few *orders of magnitude* more volume than what this appears to have to grow a single, normal-sized plant.

  2. You beat me, Xeni “This advanced hydroponics control system automates all functions necessary for the cultivation of your plants. Also…. You can put your WEEEED in there!”

    It actually sounds pretty complicated – hydroponics systems can benefit from some level of automation, but I don’t know that it is all that helpful to have it tweet, or communicate with your phone – if the closed loop system is operating within the control bands, then good.

    Doing all that for a single plant seems overly intensive – having systems like that for a whole grow operation would be very useful.

  3. I tried to check it out. I think you killed it though. Too many stoner technofetishists on boingboing.

  4. I want a fuzzy logic controller to control the potassium levels with a setpoint that changes weekly. Someone get me Japan.

    1. I imagine Shenzhen can deliver it faster and cheaper… of course, one or two in each batch will roast your, er, orchids, but buy in bulk and you won’t care!

  5. Pocketgrow page didn’t load (too much Boinging?) so I didn’t get to view the physical dimensions, but it looks a little small for a weed crop.

  6. Seems like a nice-looking cube toy, but other than that, quite useless. At around 13x13cm it’s really small.

    I wonder why the case is all black-it would be more efficient if it were white or reflective on the inside.

    Looking at the description of the hardware, I noticed that the device can be connected via serial to a computer. The computer then runs the management software and the twitter client. Which is to say, if you want to be able to check the temperature on the go on your smartphone YOU NEED TO RUN A WINDOWS PC 24/7. Having a 60+ Watts server running continuously is everything else but “green”. Also, unlike other projects, it doesn’t tweet when it’s out of water.

    My design suggestion: get an Arduino with Ethernet shield or Wi-Fi and start over.

  7. Two things here.. First off, I can’t seem to Google “Boing Boing” without ALWAYS typing “Boing Bong” –I dunno. Second off, the chip on the board is a Picaxe 08m. I have chips from the same family running Walter, my robot! I have no idea why either of these statements would be relevant to anyone.

    Ooh, one more –I was Bong-of-the-Month December ’97 in High Times and this will always be my claim to fame. *sigh* In hindsight, I hope that wasn’t my 15 minutes…

  8. This is just amazing. Been looking for a small grow box to fiddle around with for my collection of plants. I want a LabBox Grower!!!

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