Purdue student startup advances automated device with app to grow fresh produce in home hydroponic appliance
Scott Massey and Ivan Ball, recent graduates of Purdue’s Polytechnic Institute, originally inspired by NASA-funded research into self-sufficient plant life systems, co-founded the company Hydro Grow LLC to commercialize their appliance. Others on the Hydro Grow team are James Carlson, a junior in the Department of Computer Science; and John Kissel, a past student of the Krannert School of Management. Hydro Grow’s technology offers the Gropod, a self-sustainable refrigerator-sized unit capable of growing fresh produce in a consumer’s home. The system uses advanced machine learning algorithms, which allows the device to be aware of what plants are growing in it and adapt its environmental conditions to the specific preferences of that plant. After several prototypes, the company is developing an Alpha 3 model with improved functionality and a corresponding app.
Photo: Scott Massey (left) and John Kissel (right) discuss two different grow-pods in front of their innovative hydroponic appliance called the Alpha III Pod. Massey founded Hydro Grow LLC to design and sell hydroponic, in-home appliances that produce fruits and vegetables. Their newest model, Alpha III Pod, incorporates advanced machine learning algorithms to create an ideal nutrient wash for each of the grow-pod’s plants. (Shannon Kane / Purdue Research Foundation image)