German firm Osram through its venture capital arm Fluxunit has acquired a minority stake in Munich-based start-up Agrilution. The start-up has created a smart indoor growing box, called the plantCube. The plantCube serves as a herb, vegetable, and salad garden for the home. According to Agrilution, even users without gardening expertise can use the plantCube to considerably increase yield using a specially optimized LED technology and other innovations.
Tengelmann Ventures and Kraut Capital also hold a stake in Agrilution. “Thanks to its innovative business model, Agrilution is the perfect fit for Osram. And Osram, with its lighting and horticultural expertise, can help to improve and enhance Agrilution,” said Ulrich Eisele, head of Osram’s Fluxunit.
For some time, Osram has supplied specially-developed lighting solutions for cultivating plants in greenhouses or indoor spaces. These unique grow light systems can both stimulate and manage plant growth for horticultural applications.
The plantCube Automates the Growth of Salad Greens
Agrilution employs Osram’s specialized LED technology in the plantCube. The smart home appliance allows you to plant a variety of different greens in sections of the plantCube’s growth shelves. Then, you set the app to grow that particular type of greens in each section. With this information, the plantCube automatically regulates temperature, watering, and lighting conditions to create an optimized growing environment.
In this way, the plantCube allows people to grow herbs, salad greens, and vegetables regardless of weather and climate. Agrilution says that plantCube enables pesticide-free growing of nutritious salad greens 24/7 and 365 days a year.
According to Agrilution, the plantCube can grow many herbs and vegetables including basil, baby spinach, arugula, dill, baby char, baby beetroot, lamb’s lettuce, parsley, and chives. The plantCube has two shelves for growing herbs, vegetables, and salad greens. Each of the two shelves has four square sections that can grow different greens. So, the plantCube can grow up to eight different greens at one time.
A smartphone app tells you how far along each green is in its growth cycle and shows when each section is ready to be harvested.
Other partners in the development of plantCube include Autodesk, Technische Universitat Munchen, and the Association for Vertical Farming.