Is your once tendered and loved vegetable garden now a pot of shriveled roots? Are your camellias now tangled in a web of weeds? A lot of people have a natural talent at killing plants. For people who used to rely on cultivation for food, we are now terrible at keeping plants alive. But now there are robots to do that for us.
At CES, a tradeshow of the biggest tech news of the year, many companies enthused over their smart gardening inventions. They all have the common goal of dummy-proofing gardening.
The E-Farm from XYZ is a perfect example of this. The smart garden box is primarily used to grow food, reps for the company told Motherboard —the lettuce the company had flourishing in the thing had been growing for roughly five weeks, with little-to-no human intervention. All you have to do is put water in the system’s reservoir, select the plants you’re growing from a built-in menu (it’s kind of like using a microwave), and wait. Because it’s all hydroponic, you don’t even need soil.
However you can’t just pop any old seed in the E-farm. Rather, you need to use specific seeds from XYZ formulated to work in the pot.
Another contendor Parrot Pot gave the user a little more of a feeling of achievement. This pot requires dirt and sunlight but little else. The pot uses a in-built sensor, a smartphone app and a Bluetooth chip to tell you soil moisture levels, fertilizer levels, air temperature and sunlight levels. You don’t even need to water these plants – it can do that automatically too.
However Parrot Pot isn’t wanting to take the gardening soil right from your hands. A spokesperson told Motherboard, “We’re interested in helping you grow real plants, so we didn’t focus on hydroponics. We don’t necessarily want to create super productive growers, we want to teach people what you need to do to grow a plant.”