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Soilless food production in circulation systems

In the unit Food products, research is mainly conducted in the two areas of «Aquaponics» and «Farmbot» to create sustainable solutions for food production. The focus is hereby on the following principles:

Current research topics

Aquaponics

Lettuce seedlings for the aquaponic system
Feeding the fish in the aquaponic system
In the aquaponics cycle, the nutrients excreted by the fish are converted in such a way that they can be absorbed by the plants and purified water is available to the fish.
Training in aquaponic farms

Aquaponics is a polyculture which combines aquaculture and hydroponics cultivation, i.e. fish farming and soilless food production, in a recirculation (semi-closed-loop) system with the aim of recycling nutrients from the wastewater of fish farming. The nutrients contained in fish feed and fish excrement are thus used in a sustainable way to produce food.

Farmbot

FarmBot's control system
FarmBot exhibited at a specialties market
FarmBot with carrot culture
Automatic irrigation system using FarmBot
Automatic crop care using FarmBot

FarmBot is an open-source robotic planting system designed to automatically cultivate vegetables. It performs all the work involved in cultivation: sowing to specification, weeding, measuring soil moisture and targeted irrigation.

Within the field of urban farming, the eco-technology research group is interested in the automated cultivation of food, for example, on roof and facade surfaces that are difficult to access, in vertical, hydroponic and aquaponic farming.

With specific further development, FarmBot could also be used for the cultivation of mixed crops.

Within the scope of term papers and the Bachelor’s thesis, you have the opportunity to further develop the FarmBot. For example, Linus Bleisch developed a carrot harvesting tool as part of his bachelor's thesis.

Farmbot Film

Studentische Arbeiten

Team foodstuffs