One of the cool things about mankind's exploration of space is many of the gadgets that helped get us to the moon and living on the International Space Station, have actually found practical applications here on Earth. One of the latest items comes from a prototype rotary hydroponic garden that would have given astronauts fresh herbs, and has now been recreated for home use with an ultra-sleek design.
The functionality of the "The Green Wheel" by DesignLibero is much the same as the NASA prototype. The wheel design is unique in that as a circle rather than a table or other linear design it takes up fairly little space; something key for space travel, and desired in modern homes and apartments. As a circle however, it can still house a large number of plants on the inside radius.
Being in a circle also allows the plants to rotate around a singular light source — another efficiency.
The other efficiencies generated by being in a wheel include the generation of gravity when spinning which helps the plants develop naturally. The interior of the wheel where the plants grow is perforated with vases; the vases contain coco-fiber as the growing medium. The rest of the wheel houses the engines that rotates the wheel, and pumps the water from the internal water reservoir onto the plants.
The Milan-based design studio responsible for sprucing up the old NASA prototype into a hydroponic garden that would be welcome in any modern day home, has also updated the basic technology to include a control interface that can be managed by your smartphone or computer. The controls help the owner adjust the light and water as needed and for a variety of plants.
The photos in the gallery don't show the Green Wheel in full vegetation, so while it is very sleek looking it also resembles the tumbler of a modern washer or dryer. That said, I do imagine when it is in full use with a variety of plants — perhaps even some flowering versions it must be a sight to behold.
And good for putting some greens on the table as well!