Automated system to grow and harvest vegetables in extreme environments.


GrowBotHub is part of Igluna which is an international student project to build a habitat demonstrator for sustaining life in an extreme environment such as the Moon. Igluna is coordinated by the Swiss Space Center and based on an initiative of the European Space Agency (@ESA_Lab CH).

GrowBotHub aims for a fully automated system to grow and harvest vegetables in extreme environments. The main focus of the team is to design an autonomous system that will minimize the required resources. Therefore, they are using aeroponics and fogponics to grow the vegetables.

More information about Igluna 2019 and GrowBotHub in this video:

The system is meant to be used in closed-loop with nutrients recycled from human biological waste. Multiple sensors and machine learning are used to control the growth and harvesting of the vegetables. An embedded top-level controller regulates the full system.

Here is a table showing the different parts of the project.


& Electronics

The structure is built out of aluminium to be the lightest possible. Electronic components are used to monitor and control the growth.

Vegetable growth

& Aeroponics

To grow vegetables efficiently, we are using aeroponics and nutrients recycled from human wastes. Aeroponics requires low levels of water and nutrients which is interesting for Space applications.

Computer Vision

Machine learning and computer vision algorithms are used to monitor plant growth and send signals when they are ready to be harvested.

Top-level Controller

All the different parts of GrowBotHub are controlled and synced by an embedded controller. A user interface is accessible remotely.



A robotic arm is used to handle and collect the vegetables.

To develop the different parts of the project, GrowBotHub needs EPFL students that can realize their semester project with us, supervised by specialized laboratories.

You will find the list of projects here: