$70k seriously? you could build the same thing out of wood for 3k with the ac and lights. The solar panels are simply stupid, why not just put a sky light in. The solar panels system most likely ads 5k to the price.
14th August, 2012 @ 7:15 p.m. (California Time)
A skylight is thermally inefficient, leaks, doesn't illuminate the bottom shelf, and makes for an easier route for unlawful entry.
14th August, 2012 @ 8:12 p.m. (California Time)
$70,000 buys a lot of lettuce.
14th August, 2012 @ 8:14 p.m. (California Time)
@ Michael Mantion
A second power supply for your refrigerator is not a bad thing.
15th August, 2012 @ 2:52 a.m. (California Time)
Might make sense in Japanese cities, but would be uneconomic in most other parts of the world.
15th August, 2012 @ 3:15 a.m. (California Time)
1) $70,000 for one unit?!
2) operations cost 45 US cents per head of lettuce?! Not quite cost effective either...
15th August, 2012 @ 3:34 a.m. (California Time)
An inefficient greenhouse. The nice-looking, white, sunlit wall should be glass. The solar panels on the roof are for looks. Sunlight coming in through glass is at least five times as efficient as running lights with solar panels.
15th August, 2012 @ 4:04 a.m. (California Time)
Plant density is well below that of commercial greenhouses. Capital cost is stupidly expensive. MBadgero is correct; this is an inefficient greenhouse. Yeah, it'll grow vegetables but not many and they will be affordable only by NBA stars.
15th August, 2012 @ 4:19 a.m. (California Time)
15th August, 2012 @ 6:30 a.m. (California Time)
We already have our own home grown Valcent or as now, Alterrus quoted on the Toronto Stock Exchange and here in the US. They explored doing vertical trays and discovered they could produce about 20 times what a farmer can produce in a given area and only use a fraction of the water. The economics are astounding which explains why these things are beginning to expand as fast as they are.
15th August, 2012 @ 9:19 a.m. (California Time)
Come on! This is sooo silly! what are the operating costs, what is the equivalent land use, what are the spring/summer/winter/fall factors...
There is a HUGE space for people! how silly is that.. how much lost production might that account for! damn.
oh boy, a box! an expensive one. with vegetables! like the staff of life: lettuce.
ought to print an apology for this one.
15th August, 2012 @ 9:53 a.m. (California Time)
Agree with MB and Guy. This is a 30 year old growing system and about as inefficient as you can get. :) Lame and he gets and F for the assignment.
15th August, 2012 @ 10:31 a.m. (California Time)
Take a look at similar concept - podponics:
15th August, 2012 @ 10:33 a.m. (California Time)
All preceding comments are not just valid but actually pale in comparison to Japan's giant energy shortcomings. They already have a huge shortfall with the demise of the Fukushima reactor complex. New cool ways to wastefully misuse electricity they do not have and cannot afford is not an innovation that Japan, or anyone else, really needs. A modest box with a $70K starting pricetag just the list of problems.
15th August, 2012 @ 10:37 a.m. (California Time)
Love it: This is where it begins. With the invention. Then all the people with comments like those above tweak it. And down the road a little way someday each of us may have our very own Gizmo-Cube only built & powered cost effectively. Even If Michael Jordan is the only human who can afford the first 2012 model......they say the first computer filled up a huge building.....
Richtor J Reynolds
15th August, 2012 @ 11:43 a.m. (California Time)
In the UK if you tried to use this system you'd most likely be subject to an early morning visit by some smartly dressed gentlemen and a dog.
Hydroponics here tends to be the preserve of cannabis growers. The Police regularly use heat-sensing cameras on helicopters to detect areas (typically people's lofts) that have been adapted to grow the plant- as the use of powerful lights will usually create a tell-tale heat signature.
It is perfectly legal to buy and use hydroponics, and, (if the law hasn't yet been changed) to buy seed to grow the drugs, but not to actually grow them.
As far as this grossly overpriced system goes, it is hardly worth having the Police kicking in your door at the crack of dawn for the sake of some fresh lettuce.
15th August, 2012 @ 12:19 p.m. (California Time)
Many problems with this thing.
1) Low plant density
2) White light instead of red (red LEDs are extremely cheap & more efficiently deliver light energy to plants)
3) High cost of entry (70k? why?!)
4) Unnecessary windows
15th August, 2012 @ 12:29 p.m. (California Time)
If you have followed this web site for awhile, you have seen some really good concepts for growing plants. For those new here, check these out:
You could even combine these two.
15th August, 2012 @ 12:45 p.m. (California Time)
I will go with "overpriced and not even very good" as well.
For a counterpoint, see the Growth Chamber at the US Antarctic Base at the South Pole:
15th August, 2012 @ 1:04 p.m. (California Time)
The only place this would be economically efficient is underground..... or under at least 50ft of water..... Hmmmmm.....
15th August, 2012 @ 1:27 p.m. (California Time)
Diawa seems to be headed in the right direction but fundamentally i think they have fallen short.
An Australian company, Vertical Farms Systems has come up with not just a containerised version, but a small domestic "fridge" unit for the house which is far more affordable ( and uses LED technology which makes it far more cost effective. Also, by using its various growing levels, it maximises floor/growing space which is great in such place like Japan, or big cities.
worth a look
15th August, 2012 @ 2:56 p.m. (California Time)
Hmmmm....... I wonder what it takes to start a co-op. I wish I knew 45 people up this way that might be willing to go in on this at about $100 a pop.
15th August, 2012 @ 3:46 p.m. (California Time)
Hmmm. We're using solar -> electrical -> light losing over 80% of the energy which was originally the right form, at high expense.
'Skylights 'leak?' Not if done correctly. 'Allow illegal entry?' To steal my @ for a $1 heads of lettuce (which has almost no nutritive value anyway.)
The only thing this is economically suited for growing are illegal drug herbs. And frankly, you can convert a spare 8'x8' bedroom to grow $8,000 per year worth of marijuana for well under $3,000.
Now, build something that can do this for $1,000 and maybe it would be worth something for veggies, but only in the highest priced real estate areas, and even there, it's cheaper to ship stuff in...there's a reason major cities don't grow their own food.
Start with roof gardens, worry amount self-contained gardens when you run out of roofs.
15th August, 2012 @ 5:24 p.m. (California Time)
How is this new and newsworthy ? It is a bigger version of fodder solutions iGro.
15th August, 2012 @ 6:10 p.m. (California Time)
It would be good for say a mission to Mars. You land on the planet and set up your base of operations. Locate a water source, pour a pad to set it on. When it lands in say about a month behind you, you then hook up the electricity to it and start growing your food. Should help to extend your stay for a while anyhow.
15th August, 2012 @ 6:29 p.m. (California Time)
looks like it'd be very easy to set a bunch of em in place on top of a skyscraper....
17th August, 2012 @ 5:54 a.m. (California Time)
urban farming in a box
17th August, 2012 @ 10:08 p.m. (California Time)
DAIWA is a MORTGAGE company that needs to do a little green-washing, no wonder it sells 70K white elephants.
21st August, 2012 @ 5:51 a.m. (California Time)
This looks more like a novelty item than a real world solution. Check us out at http://www.facebook.com/indoorharvest We are developing a system that aeroponic farmers will actually be able to afford.
19th September, 2012 @ 8:51 a.m. (California Time)
Come on people! So much negativity.. this is a phenomenal idea for a community association. The Japanese are all about community, we should try that in the U.S. $70,000 for a community to grow all your vegetables, fruit, etc.. rather than buying dyed, pesticide prone, bad fruit and vegetation at the grocery store.. this is a cost saving device, a community "builder," green living, sustainable, less carbon footprint efficient, etc.. What do you get when you pay your condo association fees (If you live in a condo association?) .. this would be a great idea if buying a home in a condo association, a little added perk - at least I get to see something tangible from my money...
18th October, 2012 @ 7:21 p.m. (California Time)
"Agri-Unit can grow about ten thousand servings of fruits and vegetables each year" one of pics also says that lettuce takes 42 days; so if year has 365 days, one lettuce placeholder gives 8.7 items; then is you can get 10 000 of them a year then this box should have 10000/8.7=1150 placeholders
is it really capable of housing 1150 lettuces?
26th January, 2016 @ 4:50 a.m. (California Time)