The intelligent community garden idea started from the Omnia AI Lab, a platform for innovative experiments that promote digital equality through the application of technology. Several fields from Omnia have taken part in the development process thus far, in addition to partners and farming students from The Adult Education Centre of Helsinki.
In the first version of the intelligent community garden, vegetables and herbs were grown in growing units and monitored with an IoT-system. Building a community around the garden and working together, as well as learning about artificial intelligence, were key objectives of the first pilot project. The pilot successfully ended in November with harvesting and open questions for the upcoming team to solve.
During the last phases of the first pilot, the Product Developmen Project course, that has been run for over 20 years, began in Aalto University. Omnia, being one of the partners in the course, presented a challenge to the course students for developing the garden pilot further during the course. A team of international and multidisciplinary Aalto students was formed, and soon strengthened with Omnia students as well.
Throughout the fall, the AeroFarm team has focused on learning about the first pilot, building a project plan and brainstorming around different solutions. The key challenges for us are making the garden pilot more accessible and expanding the current unit into a more user-friendly model for everyone to use.
Our journey will continue until the beginning of Summer 2021 so we will have plenty of time to learn and put the learnings into practice. We welcome you to follow our project!