Cloudponics is a four-year-old Chilean company that has developed an AI-based box capable of growing up to six marijuana plants indoors practically on its own.
The company’s main product is a $3,499 CAD refrigerator-sized machine called the GroBox. The device houses the plant and manages the many calculated aspects of growing cannabis.
The grower only needs to interact with the box once a week at the most, and they can leave it untended for as long as three weeks.
Users are able to keep an eye on the box’s companion app, which gives simple instructions that explain how to keep their plants thriving. The app even locks and unlocks the box in order to keep it safe around children.
The app monitors and adjusts air temperature, humidity, pH levels, nutrients, smell and light. It also waters the plant, though users will need to refill the GroBox’s water reservoir every few weeks.
When the growing cycle is complete, users can expect to cultivate 226g of marijuana depending on the strain and how many plants are grown. The GroBox is capable of producing both indica and sativa cannabis plants, but it’s more challenging to grow sativa strains since they typically get very tall.
Four years ago in Chile, Nico Ruiz started the company when he received a $40,000 grant from the country’s government. He says that his background in hydroponics and engineering made him well-equipped to take on the project.
Since then the company has sold about 300 units of its first and second-generation boxes. Currently, Cloudponics.ca is selling is the company’s second-generation box.
Cloudponics has found success with first-time growers and medical cannabis users. Ruiz’s estimates that 80 to 90 percent of GroBox users are first time growers, based on customers that have contacted the company after purchase.
The GroBox is making inroads in the medical cannabis market, too. Ruiz attributes this to the cost savings measure the box provides when it comes to someone who consumes a significant amount of cannabis. He estimates that someone who uses marijuana daily will effectively pay for the GroBox in two growth cycles, which amounts to about six months.
Users can select whatever stain they want since the operation is controlled. This is particularly helpful for medical users who often use a strain-specific strain for treatment. Another plus of having a controlled environment is that it allows users to grow organic cannabis, ensuring the plant they’re ingesting is chemical free.
The company also has another product called the GroControl that can be added to existing hydroponic setups in order to add Cloudponics advanced cannabis growing AI to larger scale growing operations.
Cannabis grow boxes aren’t a completely new product. A Canadian company called Grobo offers a similar device that measures in at about half the size of GroBox’s offering. Even searching Google for automatic hydroponic grow box turns up a wide variety of results for anyone looking to step into the world of cannabis cultivation.