The VRS-1 is a flexible food production system, well-suited towards applications with significant space constraints. The design features an aeroponic system with 96 plants arranged in vertical rails of 6-plants each. It occupies a floorspace of 9 square feet and sports casters for easy mobility. The system was designed by Maxim King, Gary Milosovich and Tyler Reed and fabricated at the Columbus Idea Foundry. Along the way, Gary engineered a set of fixtures that allow the system to be built with a relatively small set of common tools.
The system has multiple options for lighting, configurable channels that allow for managing vertical and horizontal spacing between plants, and an scalable instance of the HAPI automation system. The design includes the ability to daisy-chain the plumbing of multiple VRS-1 systems into a common reservoir. We foresee implementing the system as:
- A stand-alone food production unit
- A star-configuration with 3 – 6 units radially oriented to a common reservoir or aquaponic pool.
- A large matrix with dozens of connected, semi-autonomous systems
Final drawings and build instructions for the system will be posted online soon. If you would like more information regarding the VRS-1, please feel free to contact us through our Contact page.
System design began with a “napkin sketch” that Tyler made in Sketchup. Maxim took those early sketches through a series of improvements resulting in a more mature set of sketches.
Maxim, Gary and Tyler then collaborated via email and teleconferences on the design and Max captured the design decisions in CAD drawings.
Gary developed fixtures from the CAD drawings that Tyler then used to fabricate the actual components.
People at the Columbus Idea Foundry pitched in to help finish the fabrication while iGrow completed the picture by loaning us an incredible light: a 360 degree induction light that they’ve recently developed.
The unit made it’s demo debut at the OSU Food Innovation Center’s Situating Food symposium.
HAPI (Hydroponic Automation Platform Initiative) is an open-source project of the Open Community Development Corporation.