MACARONS: A Modular and Open-Sourced Automation System for Vertical Farming

Wichitwechkarn, Vijja and Fox, Charles (2023) MACARONS: A Modular and Open-Sourced Automation System for Vertical Farming. Jounral of Open Hardware, 7 (1). ISSN 2514-1708

Full content URL: http://doi.org/10.5334/joh.53

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MACARONS: A Modular and Open-Sourced Automation System for Vertical Farming
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Abstract

The Modular Automated Crop Array Online System (MACARONS) is an extensible, scalable, open hardware system for plant transport in automated horticulture systems such as vertical farms. It is specified to move trays of plants up to 1060mm $\times$ 630mm and 12.5kg at a rate of 100mm/s along the guide rails and 41.7mm/s up the lifts, such as between stations for monitoring and actuating plants. The cost for the construction of one grow unit of MACARONS is 144.96USD which equates to 128.85USD/m$^2$ of grow area. The designs are released and meets the requirements of CERN-OSH-W, which includes step-by-step graphical build instructions and can be built by a typical technical person in one day at a cost of 1535.50 USD. Integrated tests are included in the build instructions are used to validate against the specifications, and we report on a successful build. Through a simple analysis, we demonstrate that MACARONS can operate at a rate sufficient to automate tray loading/unloading, to reduce labour costs in a vertical farm.

Keywords:open source hardware, Agriculture, Robotics, vertical farming
Subjects:H Engineering > H671 Robotics
D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D400 Agriculture
Divisions:College of Science > School of Computer Science
ID Code:52872
Deposited On:20 Dec 2022 12:03

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