Introduction: Rotosphere - GBE

Hi, our group is composed of 4 high school seniors at Martin Van Buren High School living in Queens, New York. In this project, we focused on the problems of making an automated system while taking into consideration the microgravity of the International Space Station. Our design includes an ios app that will control the irrigation and the light, and tell the astronauts the temperature and humidity levels.


Biodegradable coir fiber coco (soil)
Adequate sized LEDs (colors: red, blue, green, and white)

Two small fans

Tempered glass (can be changed in shape) Adequate metal for the exterior

Step 1: Step 1: Exterior

The structure of our idea is based on a spherical ball. The water supply and power supply are attached to the base of our machine which is a rectangular prism for functioning.

Step 2: Step 2: Lighting

Maintaining the wavelengths in specific colors such as blue, red, green and white light. Using our App we designed we will be able to manage the lights based on optimal sunrise and sunset time so the plants get minimum amount of Red light at night and blue in the daytime. While also adjusting it’s green and white light during the day at a specific time will help plants to grow at a faster rate because of the anti-gravity “Rotosphere” design. The light will be managed by a big rod in the middle of the sphere just like a fan, for example, but it will be an auto sensor for light-adjusting and controlled by the App. Without the cover there will be much bright light that may affect the scientist mentally So we have designed a magnetic cover. The cover is tinted on the outside to not affect the outside surroundings and a mirror on the inside. So more light IN and less light OUT for the better growth for plants.

Step 3: Step 3: Water System

Our plan to have a functioning water system is to use capillary action. The water will came directly from a reservoir connected to the bottom of the chamber which is the cube part of the design by a tube. All around the sphere, we have small pores allowing the water to travel to the plants. When the automated sphere rotates, every plant is able to have water.

Step 4: Step 4: Air Flow

Air sensors can be used to measure airflow. The two sensors are attached to the backside of the spherical body one of either side of the light source. This will regulate the airflow into the sphere by using existing algorithms through the application. By using air sensors, there will be less necessity of humans controlling the air flow. These types of air flow monitors can be useful to grow plants in space as they require less amount of effort. The air flow monitors will have temperature, humidity and carbon dioxide regulators.

Step 5: Step 5: App Controlling, Water System, Light, Temperature and Humidity

App Name- Auto - Rotosphere Tech

Additionally, we decided to create an application to control and maintain the systems. The app will be able to display the current temperature, humidity percentage, and water storage levels. This will be useful to keep a close watch on the plants without the astronauts actually having to be present at the location of the plants itself. The app will also have another portal where the user will be able to control certain systems. For example, a clicker to activate the water system, if the machine didn’t do so automatically due to a malfunction or mishap. It will consist of clickers to manage the LED system. To be more specific, the LED specific clickers will allow the user to control the light hue and color (on/ off).

Growing Beyond Earth Maker Contest

Participated in the
Growing Beyond Earth Maker Contest