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Offline fuzzy

Automated Hydroponics
« on: April 07, 2014, 11:52:37 AM »

Interested in thoughts on utilizing Blockchain technology and systems similar to the AngelShares funding model in order to fund the development of community-automated hydroponic farms. 

I realize this is another instance of "the vending machine" problem that has been covered elsewhere in these forums, but I hope we can continue banging our heads against this "problem" until we can find some resolution.

Take the links here, for instance:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1QXCnC-2h4   and  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8P2uE5LdHrs

Could a community effectively fund the building of these farms with an AngelShares funding model, use their computations to help with automation of the processes for seeding, growing, packaging, processing purchases and sending product to local stores or individual residences? 

Just a thought...
This would be more similar to projects like GridCoin with the BOINC protocol (and therefore not truly a DAC--as bio mentioned to me in my "what is a DAC--part 1" explanation ...but that does not mean it wouldn't serve its purpose when the tech is fully operational (in my idealist mind) and provide at least a higher level of decentralization via localized production with community ownership. 



« Last Edit: April 07, 2014, 11:55:54 AM by fuznuts »
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Offline CWEvans

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Re: Automated Hydroponics
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2014, 05:01:06 PM »
Paging Unimercio!

Offline Mrrr

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Re: Automated Hydroponics
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2014, 08:40:05 PM »
Interested in thoughts on utilizing Blockchain technology and systems similar to the AngelShares funding model in order to fund the development of community-automated hydroponic farms. 

I realize this is another instance of "the vending machine" problem that has been covered elsewhere in these forums, but I hope we can continue banging our heads against this "problem" until we can find some resolution.

Take the links here, for instance:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1QXCnC-2h4   and  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8P2uE5LdHrs

Could a community effectively fund the building of these farms with an AngelShares funding model, use their computations to help with automation of the processes for seeding, growing, packaging, processing purchases and sending product to local stores or individual residences? 

Just a thought...
This would be more similar to projects like GridCoin with the BOINC protocol (and therefore not truly a DAC--as bio mentioned to me in my "what is a DAC--part 1" explanation ...but that does not mean it wouldn't serve its purpose when the tech is fully operational (in my idealist mind) and provide at least a higher level of decentralization via localized production with community ownership.

Awesome. I have a series of about 8 beer mats somewhere (can't find them at the moment) produced by a qualified engineer, a qualified philosopher, a broke (but qualified) artist and a certainly qualified alcoholic. Since I have a basement which is unused and I'd rather not grow weed or anything else that could get my contact nullified we sat down and figured a hydroponics farm entailing 3 1m3 plastic tanks (40$ each), a couple of pumps some tubing and a couple of lamps. A watercooled crypto-mining operation (and the growing lamps) next to the tanks would provide the rucola and tilapia with heat, while at the same time the farm would make use of the excess heat from the crypto-mining.

You'd have two different operations feeding on each others waste, DIY doable in a 10m2 basement.

Offline biophil

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Re: Automated Hydroponics
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2014, 02:00:17 PM »
Use the waste heat from a mining rig!! I love it! Who here knows about the thermodynamics of computation? How much of the energy input to a computer is lost as heat? It's been too long since my semiconductors class to remember how all that bandgap stuff works. But if you had a decent use for all the waste heat, such as heating a tilapia pond to 25C, you'd have a pretty cool setup on your hands.

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Offline jae208

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Re: Automated Hydroponics
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2014, 03:16:43 PM »
Interested in thoughts on utilizing Blockchain technology and systems similar to the AngelShares funding model in order to fund the development of community-automated hydroponic farms. 

I realize this is another instance of "the vending machine" problem that has been covered elsewhere in these forums, but I hope we can continue banging our heads against this "problem" until we can find some resolution.

Take the links here, for instance:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1QXCnC-2h4   and  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8P2uE5LdHrs

Could a community effectively fund the building of these farms with an AngelShares funding model, use their computations to help with automation of the processes for seeding, growing, packaging, processing purchases and sending product to local stores or individual residences? 

Just a thought...
This would be more similar to projects like GridCoin with the BOINC protocol (and therefore not truly a DAC--as bio mentioned to me in my "what is a DAC--part 1" explanation ...but that does not mean it wouldn't serve its purpose when the tech is fully operational (in my idealist mind) and provide at least a higher level of decentralization via localized production with community ownership.

I think that this is a great idea! Plants grown in this manner have many advantages over plants grown in the traditional manner. You wouldn't need acres and acres of land to do so either as you can just build upwards. Imagine the farm of the future being automated, climate controlled, and in a vertical building 100 stories high! I truly believe that this is doable. People juust need to be educated on why they should give their money over to someone to fund a project like this.
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Offline unimercio

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Re: Automated Hydroponics
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2014, 06:54:26 PM »
Paging Unimercio!

 +5% sorry, I took my eye off the ball.

Very interesting project idea, I'm actually vested in an aquaponic project in Austin through my son and daughter. They might be interested in contributing warehouse and greenhouse space. . He also has ties to the Texas AM ag community and Engineers without borders. I'll ask them to join the thread.

Charles and I met with a Bitcoin entrepreneur (Robert B) who owns a large wasabi farm operation in the US Northwest, also a good fit.

Let me know, if you'd like me reach out to him as well.
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Offline G1ng3rBr34dM4n

Re: Automated Hydroponics
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2014, 08:11:44 PM »
Super glad to see some discussion percolating over this topic - it's something I'm very passionate about.  I've been working in the decentralized autonomous food production space for a couple of years now and co-founded my first startup (called Future Tech Farm) on the basis of the question "What is the most efficient way to produce food?"  We believe, it's within your own living space.  Zero food miles with no physical labor or extensive knowledge of agriculture.  We've proposed the hypothesis of: what if people had 'personal home grow systems', like an appliance, that autonomously grows a certain percentage of one's fresh produce needs, year round.  What personal computing did for information technology in the 70's, we'd like to attempt do with agriculture. 

It would looks something like this: Each unit, outfitted with a sensory system, would collect data and allow for monitoring and control of the biometric variables (pH, water temps, C02 concentration, nutrient levels, air temps, daily light integral, etc).  All the data collected, would be stored on an open platform - allowing anyone else to review and/or analyze the data. 

I envision the world's food production system could inevitably be a 'single farm' that is completely decentralized through these units - all units upload data, learn from each other, and utilizing negative feedback loops; improve upon their own efficiency until humankind produces food at the pinnacle of what physics allow. (it's an extreme idealistic perspective, I know ;P)

The research we've conducted for this project is actually what led me to bitcoin and very shortly thereafter - bitshares.  This is why I'm here.  I don't know how blockchain technology would tie into decentralized food production, or if it's even necessary, but I'm here to learn as much as possible to potentially apply these ideas to the next paradigm shift in agriculture in the coming decades.

Thanks fuznuts, for initiating conversation!

Offline fuzzy

Re: Automated Hydroponics
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2014, 05:36:06 AM »
Super glad to see some discussion percolating over this topic - it's something I'm very passionate about.  I've been working in the decentralized autonomous food production space for a couple of years now and co-founded my first startup (called Future Tech Farm) on the basis of the question "What is the most efficient way to produce food?"  We believe, it's within your own living space.  Zero food miles with no physical labor or extensive knowledge of agriculture.  We've proposed the hypothesis of: what if people had 'personal home grow systems', like an appliance, that autonomously grows a certain percentage of one's fresh produce needs, year round.  What personal computing did for information technology in the 70's, we'd like to attempt do with agriculture. 

It would looks something like this: Each unit, outfitted with a sensory system, would collect data and allow for monitoring and control of the biometric variables (pH, water temps, C02 concentration, nutrient levels, air temps, daily light integral, etc).  All the data collected, would be stored on an open platform - allowing anyone else to review and/or analyze the data. 

I envision the world's food production system could inevitably be a 'single farm' that is completely decentralized through these units - all units upload data, learn from each other, and utilizing negative feedback loops; improve upon their own efficiency until humankind produces food at the pinnacle of what physics allow. (it's an extreme idealistic perspective, I know ;P)

The research we've conducted for this project is actually what led me to bitcoin and very shortly thereafter - bitshares.  This is why I'm here.  I don't know how blockchain technology would tie into decentralized food production, or if it's even necessary, but I'm here to learn as much as possible to potentially apply these ideas to the next paradigm shift in agriculture in the coming decades.

Thanks fuznuts, for initiating conversation!

You are welcome Ginger ;)

With that said, about the (imo valid) point you make here: "I dont know how the blockchain technology would tie into decentralized food production, or if it's even necessary".

I am just shooting in the dark here but I posted this because I do not have all the answers and feel this would be a very worthwhile problem to solve.

The blockchain technology, as I see it, provides for the construction of a decentralizing incentive structure.  The blockchain would allow these types of real world production scenarios to be automated and maintained by individuals who want to do so because they will earn tokens considered valuable.  AngelShare types of IPO models would allow for the initial investment for infrastructure and ensure maximum stability of the token's value (no pumping and dumping). 

In the world I am envisioning, there would be a mixture of at-home "single farms"--as you put it--and there could be a far larger, local "community farm" that would gain value from the data-points received from each single farm's monitoring equipment.  In this way, the entire ecosystem could quickly learn of any potential destructive force (diseases, pests...etc) that might undermine its stability and, much like the human immune system defends from unknown invaders, use the information gained from one member of the network to make the entire network more robust against that particular attack. 

The blockchain would simply be there to ensure individuals have the ability to participate equally and receive payment in the form of tokens that are accepted for the produce.  That is how I see the blockchain...from the perspective of behavioral economics it, for the first time, enables us to truly find ways to bootstrap entire industries (or as bytemaster calls them "vending machines") in a decentralized manner. 

This will likely require protocol stacks (just like the internet does) to function and the blockchain is only one layer of that stack, but if this could be accomplished it could substantially decrease the cost of healthy food for the masses. 

Hope this explains my meaning here a little better. 
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Offline CWEvans

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Re: Automated Hydroponics
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2014, 03:53:18 PM »
A'ight! Something has to come out of this discussion.

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Offline G1ng3rBr34dM4n

Re: Automated Hydroponics
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2014, 09:06:11 PM »
I'll humbly present some very young thoughts - I'd appreciate any help in refining and thinking with me.  Dr. Evans - if you have any spare brainpower to apply to the economics of a decentralized, distributed, autonomous food production system; that would be an area I've struggled with for years and could use some adult supervision. ;)

Much like the state of the financial industry, the food system is badly broken.  One of the things I've been pondering is the reasoning behind blockchain technology and how it might apply to growing and distributing food.  At the barest of bones the blockchain is: an unalterable running ledger of ownership.  Is this necessary for food production..?  I still don't know yet; my gut says to keep pursuing down this path of thinking while my brain is asking "is this engineering for the sake of engineering?" 

What do you think?

Quote
The blockchain technology, as I see it, provides for the construction of a decentralizing incentive structure.
 
I think you're right and I believe this may be applied best to a slightly less decentralized food production platform than I've been theorizing over the past couple of years,  i.e. the community farms you mentioned.  Where one can grow enough food to feed themselves/their family and also grow an excess they would be able to sell.  I think of this analogous to the role of POW miners in the crypto ecosystem.  (...how could DPOS be applied to food production?!) 

To help paint a quick reference picture:  The type of farm I envision though is not your average 'garden plot'; I think of farms evolving to clean room environments in the basements of buildings or as dedicated rooms within high rises - all autonomously controlled, robotically operated & [ideally] off-grid.  Delivering of goods could occur utilizing a network of UAVs, like quadcoptors, in which the distance from the location of growth to location of consumption is as minimal as viably possible.  For instance I have an 8'x8' room in my basement that used to be the 'coal room' back in the 30's.  I would be more than happy to point that volumetric footprint towards growing lettuce year round.  My wife and I would eat what we would need and sell the rest - but the problem that I believe needs to be solved is the autonomous distribution and assignment of ownership, to others, of the excess our system would grow.  Simply put, I don't have the time or desire to package the food, take it to a farmer's market, or make door-to-door drop offs.  Which leads to me to my next thought of how growing, purchasing, and distribution may all by related to each other:

Let's say one wants to be a farmer [analogous to a 'miner' for the crypto world].  The "token" she would be producing is lettuce.  This opens up a whole new emerging industry for embedded hardware hydroponic systems that would range in size from the consumption needs of a single person, to that of a family, to that of excess in order to profit on the food that isn't consumed; like mining rigs.  Perhaps a blockchain could be utilized as a ledger for every plant produced.  Each plant has an address, and therefore, documented public ownership (most likely future ownership) which would be kept track of on the chain.  If food were accounted for on a plant by plant basis, I believe food waste would be dramatically decreased (which is currently over 25% of all food grown).  The embedded hydroponic hardware system (which I've been calling personal home grow systems) would autonomously assign ownership of the plants (through the blockchain), grow, package, and deliver the food to the consumer.  In this case - maybe consumers would be able to place orders for food through some sort of decentralized exchange (a la an Amazon Fresh-like experience) and this would be recorded in the block chain.  Perhaps lettuce can be traded on a decentralized exchange (bitSharesX) through a cryptoasset, i.e. bitLETTUCE.   

Quote
In the world I am envisioning, there would be a mixture of at-home "single farms"--as you put it--and there could be a far larger, local "community farm" that would gain value from the data-points received from each single farm's monitoring equipment.  In this way, the entire ecosystem could quickly learn of any potential destructive force (diseases, pests...etc) that might undermine its stability and, much like the human immune system defends from unknown invaders, use the information gained from one member of the network to make the entire network more robust against that particular attack. 

Agreed completely of how you've articulated why this system makes sense from a theoretical perspective.  This is a big problem that needs to be solved in the next couple of decades.  I believe food production definitely has the potential to fall under the umbrella of "Johnston's Law", in which: Everything that can be decentralized, WILL be decentralized.

 

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