Archive for the ‘Ecological Design’ Category

Space Age Pots

Thursday, June 5th, 2008

Bill Wolverton is at it again. The irrepressible former NASA engineer, who popularized the notion of using plants to remove toxic pollutants from indoor air after years of researching their usefulness in human life-support systems for the moon and Mars, has teamed with Phytofilter Techologies to produce a potted plant filter he claims packs the air-purifying power of more than 100 peace lilies or palms. The container has a fan at its base, which draws the toxins to plant roots, where they’re munched on by microorganisms and rendered innocuous. It will be available for sale in the fall. For now, Wolverton plans to give the devices away to residents of formaldehyde-laden trailers in areas still struggling to recover from Hurricane Katrina. 

Meanwhile, Junyl Heo has designed the Digital Pot, complete with sensors that measure soil moisture, humidity and temperature, and an LCD face that frowns when the plant isn’t getting what it wants and smiles when it’s happy. It’s even smart enough to drain away excess moisture when you’ve overwatered.