Autogrow Develops Talking Growing System, With Help From Alexa
Autogrow, a New Zealand-based ag tech company, has combined the features of Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa and Autogrow’s IntelliGrow API (Application Programming Interface) to create the first-ever talking automated growing system.
“We’ve basically turned a vocal sound into a machine command and proven that integration of these different systems is possible,” says Autogrow CEO Darryn Keiller. “We have done it with Alexa, but we can also integrate with a grower’s HVAC or lighting system. The possibilities are limitless.”
Autogrow has been considering voice-activation technology for a while, but it was a recent conversation with one of its growers that spurred the company to accelerate development.
“One of our growers noted how modern apps like Apple’s Siri allows you to interact and how great it would be if he could ask his controller to update him on his crop environment, but also instruct it to take action if required,” says Autogrow Chief Technology Office Jeffrey Law. “Our Solutions Architect, Lee Dunn, relished the challenge and chose Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service (AVS) due to its commitment to enable developers to voice-enable connected products.”
By connecting with Autogrow’s API, Alexa can answer a variety of questions related to readings from Autogrow’s Intelli Range of products including electrical conductivity, pH, humidity, temperature, and light, as well as force a nutrient dose.
“At the heart of it, our burning drive is to help producers of crops grown in non-outdoor environments produce more yield, better quality crops, all year round,” Keiller says. “They can then generate more profit, enabling them to produce crops that the consumer wants, and when they want it.”