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What if Robots ♥ Nature?

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and so if you thank you and the
the
midst of so thanks for coming around to our talk and unequal from plants machines um you will also get known to Bastien Ian Martin they
will talk as well um we're a bunch of guys from my mom would try to convince technology to law of nature and today we will tell you how we can bring nature and food production into all future cities and and how robots will have both with that at the beginning of our talk um I have to tell you that bringing nature back into our cities is in the brand new idea there uh there's a long history of logical and urban farming concepts in 1890 already and
even other Howard came up with the idea of the garden city you wanted to restructure cities in away and that they would integrate into nature rather than consume at um in the thirties Frank Lloyd Wright had an even
more radical plan his concept was and that each family should only 1 acre of land and for housing and growing their own food you can see it here in the middle of the slide um andlocal was concept from the 20 suggested to Don defies the
city into high rise and Taoist and surrounded by a green space so there are a lot of concept out there but today the problem is a lot of the bigger and nowadays the cities are even bigger than during the time the concepts I showed you um were made will be 10 billion people in 2050 and most of us will live in media cities especially especially in South America and in Asia and there will be not enough arable land for traditional agriculture while everyone from us at 1 so we need to have become our song meat from have become was happy fish and which tuples from organic farms and medicine oddly the climate change starts to impact our food production and I think the draw in California that you can see on the right or left inside from my side and the uh and you can see there that uh the the climate change impact our food production and
when I say traditional agriculture I mean industrial agriculture like the practices it today and you can see it here in the middle how that looks like the the and so if you just look at the
problems and I only mentioned a few of our food security problems we could definitely say we're doomed we fucked up and we will staff if we just look at the problems but of course we we're not fucked up there a lot of solutions out there and we just want to talk about 1 of them today and that's burden and vertical farming vertical and urban farming experiences as she which hive over the past 10 years and the industry is picking up now Dixon this boom year Professor of the Columbia University as the father of this concept the idea is to produce a produce forward and tall buildings and unused areas like rooftops an old factory buildings within the city the numbers of examples out there and that show how it could work and for example the EC F of found from easier found systems here and Belén it's aquaponics aquaponics farm and the huge greenhouses font font here in Chicago or this grey-green vertical farm in seeing the poor that's will produce 2 would tons of vegetables per day and you can see that the growing debts to concede the on the pictures on the left hand side is found here the farm in Chicago and on the right hand side it's a green sky farms in Singapore and you can see that the growing that's aspect over each other and I give you illuminated was extra LED light and that's why we call it a vertical farming and the the most of these farms work was mass growing and so it's like hydroponic and aquaponics and which are boss sorted free mass oats that means the crops grow and grow bats plastic to grow bats and where the roots are water that was the exact nutrient dosage they need hydroponic and needs external nutrients to be added in case of aquaponics we combine growing plants with fish farming and the dirty what of the fish allows the farmer to grow plants without using extra fertilizer at the end we have a double outcome fish and fresh vegetables like let's use the tomatoes or herbs and they're all organic it's an ecosystem like nature the different organisms and help each other to grow these pictures here our from an urban farms and from but organics and they are from Minneapolis in the USA so they use aquaponics to grow food to have the perfect growing environment of plants and fish within the city we have to control the environmental conditions and especially fish are real sensitive organisms and who uh who needs a lot of care and if you look on a Amiga city um out of stones glass and steel you will recognize very fast in the US cities on and uh area where plants want to grow that's why we have to provide the rights a growing environment In what can and farms we are able to control the temperature humidity in the light spectrum C O 2 or and the nutrient supply or the pH well you and all these values correlate of course that's so when technology comes in the computational Lagrange all these numbers to provide plants and fish the perfect conditions but computation is and not only needed for group for the growing environment it can also help us to integrate existing technologies in buildings for example we can use the heat absorption of air conditioner to warm greenhouses additionally of the rooftop farms have the benefit had to act
as a thermal isolation 4 of the building on the knees and last but not least connotation will help us to automate vertical and urban farms the reason why we should automate them is fed to constructing a vertical on urban farms needs high investments from investors governments and other organizations so automation we can say if I have to say it manpower can predict outcomes and will make sure the consistent production so that investments are profitable
so there the combination of technology nature and cities of the future will have huge advantages the so growing massive save up a save up to 80 80 per cent of water in comparison to SoyBase traditional agriculture at the same time they produce more outcome because of ever a year-round a crop production In production vertical farming and not depend on arable land and it saves a lot of space because you can vertically sex the crop production know whether related crop failures it creates new jobs and provides a better climate was in the city and the signal is significantly reduces the use of fossil fuels and because we need less transportation and don't need the CFA machines I could name or advantages flowers and 1 is so I would say problem
solved an almost under 10 minutes and that's pretty awesome time for q enabled to think that the I this is actually quite amazing instances of the human's ability to innovate and to a to use it but you have to overcome on its limitations of face challenges they take the fire from your your initial perspective to bring nature they called the and In the end this is what but basically would realize to be citizens of a future changed city in in in our lobby this morning there was an award written to invent an airplane is nothing to bits 1 is something but to fly is everything and and is sense of the citing the food production and the food crisis was nothing we we signed up for we basically combined robotics with ecosystems just for the fun because we
think gardening is is something
you can it have to feeling to touch and unlike hi productive um sky rise vertical farms well that and a high economic picture pressure um the we don't come any step closer to a to bring back nature because it would be sterile and and the only way we touch of food will be as as a part of then consumer chain where we just buy it in the supermarket so we wanted to have defined in the beauty and or or the glory for nature like sunsets warm rings forks um stronger irrigation rain perhaps why these things that's what would be signed up for and in the we just did it because of course
gives up programming hardware design and trying new things and not be afraid so it turns out that when you bring nature home
you need to give it a space a place where can drive something something private and we need this thing to be understandable by by humans and and so you would have it and instance so nature proves and
we found that that boxes are good indicators and and cats around the internet prove that boxes are definitely something that can leverage and and be a basis of human nature interaction so I know 1st set up so we set up boxes on top of each other next to each other and and put organisms inside all C a planted seeds which then crude with addition light and and water was applied the and that's what we needed automation for because if you bring nature home With all edge i lifestyle the nature are always comes a little bit short on eventually become shorter and and all the answers should be water when when they need it it's an odd when we could provide to the attention to a to give it to them and in our 1st set ups of the systems very very very fine in and
we had read the books is full of nature and and and there are quite efficient and and a large and so on but we we we see this as a collateral benefits of technology and all and drive to have finally nature at home but there's so many organisms and and what they need and what they require is
different from plant to plant it's not just because they all agree that that they eat the same stuff and to adapt for that a lot of automation software on all robots would be as adaptable as well but that's what we what we ended up with and
in this i extensive cable trees and and every change to our ecosystem would require programming and I can tell you 1 thing programming computer problems cable trees they are very much unlike gardening and so we see a year ago we just said Bacon that we have to overcome this we have to make a robot that is as adaptable as flexible as nature and and that they can provide almost any environment we could not go with binary boards but we we wanted to modulate the strength of the wind and the water and we wanted to dim the lights so after a year of
iterations we came up with a set of 3 basic boards to build a robotic infrastructure that would take care of nature it consists of a massive unit that mass around like air permissible water ponds and and the lights and the fans and the modifiers and whatever you can come up with and understand the units that would feed their environment and and detect the changes all actors cause and and or this this muscle and as a unit we we integrated into our last of the ball the brain and know the heart sorry and which which basically is something like an autonomous nervous system this is the reports able to talk to each other and and react to 2 different changes and do this on a very basic but reliable level because if you have plans and fish then you you want to have a basis where they have the very robust infrastructure because if if some of the vital functions fail you get kids and and and penalties in your system and and this is something which is not defined we signed up for so the sport's basically reduced on our cable trees to do essentially cables um this skewed wide 1 which would stretch from sends all and x and motor unit and and up in in the heart and for the motor units we would also need extra electricity tool to control of Paul little more to us but the question still is there was supported adapt would be and an easier way and
we we tried it with the very same set of as before and we reduce the k between invade the total eventually the create the same robot in in a fraction of the time with almost no we have more than 1 has to say thinking we're still doing the program have um yeah but it but this is something we already did and then we had to to try other set up so we went bigger and this
is a very very large system it turned out to be so heavy that we needed many people to work through handle it and takes this all plants which is basically not what we wanted we wanted gardening we wanted to an easy access to all books this way so we wanted to be hands on with the plans and and hence often we are we are gone but M we wanted to be there with knowledge to all our friends heading as to to check out the basis um so they had to go back
again and make it smaller and and what came up with what the change because we we changed basically the materials and came up with more Pure class would and and a way to hide the few cables that are left which which run through through the wreckage tubes and as we as we say this is a is a is a mono sound
organisms basically a monopsony robots that lives underneath the data that that it lack variable and and provides a little extra warmth fall for the water like a pumping the water up to the plants and we checked it and it could also as
where the sect again as it is a tool said organism was is reset
organism in an hour a robotic evolutionary here and there but to find out if they would fit in the end everything we we we plan to
we had to come up with new initiatives and and things we we wanted to try so this is all a coke mining his classes and yeah so at this sense we have it ever cute robotic ecosystem we managed to overcome the part that is um cable trees we're still working on on on our interface to to achieve a level that we will not have to program anymore and again because say problems left at least we are a little bit closer to nature we have it in a private space now and we can start gardening again again and this is where I think this is the choice of even looking for initially isn't it the but yeah it actually is the joy we were looking for or because of some
really nice to to you know come to work in the morning and take a look at your plants and watch them how they're doing have a sip of coffee and look at the temperature from last nite just to make sure you plans are really really fine when you're not at work and then you sit back and you know catch yourself just starting to to watch spectra do its thing but when you look at this robot you you actually see that with all its senses in the database of the quad core CPU that we use and the Wi-Fi accessibility these things I 2 research stations on it's it's more than just link lights because of collecting valuable data about plans and how the environment affects the every single 1 of the plants that your robot takes care of can be can be evaluated through image analysis were through since Oracle user-generated data and you can tinker with the knobs and dials of your robots and see how the changing environment affects your plants that gives us a tool to finally answer some of the really great questions like what an extra hour of light made my strawberries so much sweeter for displaying buff really and hence the composition and taste of your food this small research stations might generate a
huge amount of data but the actual harvest to be honest is quite tasty but enforcing not that big the if we talk about the city of the future we need to talk about survival because cities would be kind of pointless without people living in a so people eat enough food and as it turns out or robots don't even the boxes to care learn about nature for robust sustained the sensor and actuator boards are able to communicate with each other over a distance of 1 . 2 kilometers and according to this database we
can add up to 256 nodes on our boss so this makes are cute little robots actually sleeping giants what works in a small scale can can go crazy big Think about vacant lots or farm buildings rooftops states these so many places could be so much greener and drove fresh produce all year round at the same time we could benefit from technology that takes care of all food when we talk about the
food futures city we have to put ourselves in a global perspective as well because the need for affordable systems that help us grow food doesn't only exists in 4 was the 1st world countries up to now farming technologies have been closed source in the hands of a few of the costs for greenhouse automation of very high and the technology gap further limits access to these tools In order to make food production easy and sustainable on a global scale it has to be affordable as possible 1 thing you can make some 1 thing you can do to make stuff really cheap fares to put it in public domain accessibility and openness as in free hot and software don't need things come for free but it can help to make how well a lot cheaper than classic proprietory our intellectual property and some strategies making a product source changes the paradigm of competition to what's collaboration and that allows to innovate more quickly because many minds I have been on a common goal and obviously it's a hell of a lot of fun to work together on a common problem a common goal so we want to we want everyone to profit from technological advances and we want lots of people finding their own way on using them to grow healthy food anytime and anywhere so that gardens all around the
world would connect to each other and build a network of research stations set all work together sharing their knowledge to learn about nature With this massive amount of data from all over the world we can hopefully use machine learning to find out what plans love most just a bit of computation gives you the
means to listen to lectures needs and make wiser decisions based on statistical evidence allow you to use resources like water and fertilizer more sparingly and to make the ecological
footprint of food food production lot smaller but even agriculture without a single piece of electronics can greatly benefit from the state of and this is why we we have to put it out in the open as well just like open source hard and software Open Data makes information available in abundance for everyone the think about
what projects like the key PDF done for us in regards of knowledge and education and international understanding this kind of Wikipedia for living things could become the basis of sustainable throughput of food
production for generations to come the see our rebutted ecosystems are about generating knowledge and understanding nature and they teach us how to grow happier plants understanding is
essential because only through observation we have gained the ability to cultivate plants in the 1st place we understand a hard and soft there as a basic toolkit for collaboration to build the future of food production and it's easy to use no matter what the background in education it's affordable acceptable and it's yours so together we can change the way technology is used to aid us in our daily lives but at the same time respect nature and even help at life humans and machines working side by side to create the perfect spot for nature so when we imagine the city of the
future with its flying cars and self tying shows really really imagine a place where humans nature and technology can have live and work together a place where biology and computation can coexist in symbiosis were plants can take care of us robots take care of plants and when and where we can take care of robots we dream of cities where people come together to share their thoughts and wisdom on how to responsively use technology to tackle the problems at hand this is the way we can leave behind a role as a consumer start to have agency and have a say in how to roll what we eat yeah cities
where everyone that like to can become part of the solution and draw foot themselves because together we can grow food in abundance this concludes or talk and we have some time of so just just want to say maybe you want to check us out on Facebook wanted so we'll always happy to see more people or community wilderness thanks
any questions from I think 1 or 2 questions all possible thank
you for the very interesting talk I actually have a couple of questions 1st of all what is your business model as 2nd of all and you mentioned about creating new jobs and at the same time he said that Robert farming will be automated
so how those 2 concepts colleagues is any other questions very quick and what can of see seating crops now we'll that method use conventional were modified
1 of the business model yeah that's that's a question I you pretty often have to say but um just because it's open source um we still can sell but it's yours after so and you just buy it we we offer you a system which is open source of course you can just check out our dada and build it by yourself if you want to if to go to your local
factory and build your own chips you can do that no problem but I think a lot of people don't want that but they want to have an open an open source of a product of an open product much another propriety is software hardware and so there's not a really big difference and they just open it to the
people the how you find ourselves and right now i in the future the future we so they're they're about body systems the the the small box which Buster showed you and we sell the hardware of the of the open-source Saarbrücken just so it's no difference to normal company and
the of course we need someone who buy it and use of the robotic EEOC ecosystem that's the uh that's so that's I think what every company wants to sell something but
we want to do it an open way the next time for 1 question can't maybe can
talk afterwords we could also have our body of the makers space so just come around we we talk about it I was wondering if you think about the pollutants already that at the moment tend to be in some city grown plants and vegetables because that's to my impression the biggest problem at the moment and at the moment to be honest and we come from why might this is a very cute place if you
know this is the start of a um days pollution that is basically pollution everywhere have men there there's this and I'm sure you have for the tiles that interrupt often the micro dust and so on and so forth but you know in a certain sense a I believe we live in its um every day reprieve it when recited the become this bio photos that clean up the air during during physical exercise and and our plans in this sense is seen to be not too much is affected by this um by my has actually a functional probably skip is but um yeah we really as easy as it as I've shown the
systems we we we tried to build out basically quite close to an with a little bit extra tinkering tape you will probably see the whole is can but but then again it's all main focuses was getting a really come home gardening system and then and then later on so if
further questions and problems there thank you upon thank you plan the machines connect
guns you can connect to plant a machine on now on Twitter and Facebook has to i think the last thing the thanks a lot thank you uh those
you
around
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Metadaten

Formale Metadaten

Titel What if Robots ♥ Nature?
Serientitel re:publica 2015
Teil 158
Anzahl der Teile 177
Autor Herrmann, Nicolas
Buegler, Bastian
Breuer, Martin
Lizenz CC-Namensnennung - Weitergabe unter gleichen Bedingungen 3.0 Deutschland:
Sie dürfen das Werk bzw. den Inhalt zu jedem legalen Zweck nutzen, verändern und in unveränderter oder veränderter Form vervielfältigen, verbreiten und öffentlich zugänglich machen, sofern Sie den Namen des Autors/Rechteinhabers in der von ihm festgelegten Weise nennen und das Werk bzw. diesen Inhalt auch in veränderter Form nur unter den Bedingungen dieser Lizenz weitergeben.
DOI 10.5446/31926
Herausgeber re:publica
Erscheinungsjahr 2015
Sprache Englisch
Produktionsort Berlin

Inhaltliche Metadaten

Fachgebiet Informatik
Abstract Looking at the city of the future as an ecosystem, with a high net import of food over long distances, growing food within the city can be an alleviating factor to battle a cities food dependency. Be it rooftop or vertical farms, balconies or indoor gardens – all these approaches require extensive care, regular upkeeping and attention. What if robots would help us with that?

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