DCPE Team Won Prestigious Lee Hsien Loong Interactive Digital Media Smart Nation Award 2020 for Intelligent IoT Controlled Vertical Farming System Project

EEE team which developed the project, “Intelligent IoT Vertical Farming for Sustainable Food Supply,” was awarded the prestigious Lee Hsien Loong Interactive Digital Media Smart Nation Award 2020. Supervised by Phyoe Kyaw Kyaw and Niu Tianfang, the Team members were DCPE year 3 students, Lum Yi Ren Johannsen, Liu Cong, Tan Yu Yang and Tan Yao Long.

The project incorporates intelligent Internet of Things (IoT) in a controlled farming system that grows plants and vegetables using a 4-tiered vertical system.  It unlocks alternative physical space for farming such as the walls of buildings, and promotes conservation of resources through the recycling of water.   The IoT system allows for intelligent optimisation of the environmental parameters for optimal growth rate. The temperature, humidity, and carbon dioxide levels are monitored in real-time, via environmental sensors, to maintain optimal growth conditions for the vegetables. This helps reduce maintenance of the system as the built-in IoT Controller processes the data to automatically control lighting and watering, and reduce water usage by recycling.

Compared to traditional agricultural methods, the vertical farming implementation can save more than 90 percent land area needed, while harvesting 80 percent more per unit area. Furthermore, with the water recycling design, the system is able to achieve a reduction of 70 to 85 percent water usage.  A mobile-enabled dashboard enables owners to monitor the growth of their crops and receive alerts when any anomalies occur. 

The system is designed to be mobile, for either indoor or outdoor farming. It uses a hydroponic system that grows plants by enhancing the photosynthetic process.  Since the system does not use soil, it is cleaner and more hygienic. FDA-approved and organic mineral nutrients are used for the hydroponic growing. After the initial planting of the seedlings, the system is practically self-sustaining until the crops are ready to be harvested. The result is a sustainable food solution that can be replicated easily in an industrial or domestic set-up.

To date, the team has successfully grown and harvested basil (sweet, lemon, cinnamon), lettuce (butterhead, romaine and red leaf), kang kong, kai lan, nai bai cai and rocket.

Apart from four working prototypes showcased in Singapore Polytechnic, more than 30 sets have been deployed commercially in collaboration with EEE’s Industry partner, S.I.F. Pte Ltd.

Two other EEE projects made it to the finals of the competition: 

Project Title Student Participant Achievement Project Supervisor
Building Inspection using AI-Powered Drones Ian Lim
Aaron Dominic Joseph Murzello
Hoo Chan Yong
Zackeus Choo Kai Jie
Fu Hanqing
Ryan Ong
Finalist Dr Tan Hwee Siang
James Yee
Digitalisation of Donation Ecosystem using Blockchain™ Theong Neng Xiang Nicholas
Nayoyos Kenneth Moli Akiapas
Finalist Fauziah Bte Othman