2016 Grants Challenge

Self-Sustaining Gardening Sensors

Idea by ANDesign Lab

Self-Sustained Gardening Sensors Will Change Life Outdoors for all Metropolitan Areas.


Please describe your project proposal.

The objective of this proposal is for the Research and Development of a drought-adaptive gardening hub, suitable for a city-gardener. Over-fertilization can be a source of unnecessary harm, resulting in environmental hazards in the cases of nutrient run off. The development of an in-field, real-time, plant sensing system for a site-specific application can protect the environment from excessive chemicals and save management cost while controlling the productivity of watering systems.

Which of the LIVE metrics will your proposal impact?​

Access to healthy food



Local water

Walk/bike/transit score

In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

County of Los Angeles

Describe in greater detail how your proposal will make LA the best place to LIVE?

The implementation of self sustained gardening sensors will create opportunities for urban gardening, but could also help with water conservation. Cutting back on water while being more efficient in deciphering which areas need water more will help public spaces retain their appeal, as well save money. From this project we hope to create programs regarding public city-farming and agriculture.

Our mission is to help the planet by providing a system that learns and teaches its users. As a Southern California based company, we know firsthand how severe a drought can be. The objective is producing a drought adaptive product.

Market opportunity has become validated because of the rise in global temperature. All across the nation crops are producing low yields and are dying off. Now consumers can rely solely on themselves for agricultural cultivation.

The ability of a remote sensor to detect such subtle differences in vegetation makes it an extremely useful tool for quantifying within-field variability, evaluating crop growth, and managing soil based on current conditions that may be overlooked using typical ground-based visual scouting methods.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.​

Multi-spectral imaging sensors have been introduced and widely used for in-field plant sensing but this technology is not commercialized, and the data is not formalized into meaningful information.

We will simplify, and make it compatible with all water piping systems.

Here's why we should use Multi-Spectral Imaging:

1. Nitrogen: Plant growth and nitrogen deficiency symptoms can be detected by leaf spectral reflectance differences in the red and near infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum.

2. Irrigation: Heat emitted by plants under water stress can be assessed through thermal images. Spectral changes due to water stress can be also detected with visible and Near Infrared wavelengths.

3. Yield Management: “Plant growth can be detected by plant spectral differences in the visible and NIR portion of the EM spectrum”.

4. Soil Mapping: Variations in soil color related to soil properties such as texture, or organic matter can be detected by soil spectral differences in the red and NIR portion of the EM spectrum.

Fuzzy logic is an approach to computing based on 'degrees of truth' rather than the usual 'true or false' (1 or 0) Boolean logic on which the modern computer is based. A fuzzy logic control algorithm is applied to automatically adjust camera exposure and gain to control image brightness within an image’s targeted gray level affected by illumination disturbance quickly converged.

This creates a vegetative index.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?



Community outreach

Network/relationship support

Quality improvement research