About this project
Our Kickstarter campaign is over, but you can still get a Niwa. Head over to www.getniwa.com for more info and to place an order.
If you came a bit late, we still have an offer for you! Use the code niwakickstarter and get 50$ off (limited to 20 units only!!!!)
Ideally, we’d all be able to grow our own, it’s healthier, fresher, safer and better for our environment.
But for most of us city dwellers, it’s next to impossible. It requires time, knowledge, and space– luxuries most of us don’t have.
That's why we built Niwa. Niwa is the first fully connected growing system that enables you to grow your own fruit, veg, flowers, and even herbs.
Help us show the world that it’s time to change how we grow, eat and live. With Niwa anyone can grow their own produce, keeping chemicals off their plate, and enjoy the freshest, tastiest food experience right in their own homes.
Niwa is the culmination of two years of research and development, the result of many iterations, trials, and prototypes. It`s is a combination of hardware and software working together to take away the hassle of gardening as you know it. Niwa creates the perfect growing environment, waters and feeds your plants and allows you to control it all from your smartphone.
We`ve spent last 2 years working with farming experts to distill their knowledge into Niwa’s brain- a powerful microcontroller which has all the expertise of an experienced farmer. You don’t need to worry about how often to water your plants, if they’re warm enough, or if the humidity is optimal for their growth- Niwa knows
Niwa uses a number of sensors and actuators to create a perfect environment for your plants to grow healthy and strong. She controls the temperature, humidity, and light cycles and her automated irrigation system will also water and feed your plants whenever they need it- giving you get better results and complete peace of mind.
Our solution is based on hydroponic technology, the most efficient way to grow plants. It doesn't use any soil, so it`s super clean!
Plants have different needs depending on their variety and growth stage. To make sure they can thrive it’s important to reproduce the ideal conditions needed for where they are in their growth cycle. A significant part of this feedback comes from Niwa’s sensors, but your feedback is also invaluable.
Through the dedicated app, Niwa will ask you for help so she can accurately tell what stage of growth your plants are at. You’ll be asked simple questions like, “Can you see flowers?”, if you answer “yes”, Niwa will begin a new growth setting, changing the water, light and ventilation cycles as well as light conditions in response to your plant’s new growth stage, ensuring your plants get the right conditions to grow at their very best.
Niwa also saves you time and labor, there’s no pulling weeds, no ploughing, no tilling, no hoes, just the freshest, healthiest fruits and veggies. Simply switch her on, sit back, and wait for your seeds to grow.
Niwa pairs with a free app available on iOS and Android which turns the whole growing process into an easy, fun and interactive experience. From the app you can watch your plant grow, track & understand its progress, water & control climate variables, and complete your tasks.
Niwa can accommodate a whole host of fruits and veggies depending on which size model you choose. To start we’ll offer a few programmes for the most popular fruit and vegetables, but we encourage you to create your own programmes and share them with the community.
We are also working on a special tray which will enable you to grow root vegetables like carrots and potatoes. For now though, enjoy all the leafy hydroponic- based deliciousness you can get your hands on.
The integration of hardware and software opens new growing frontiers and brings advanced growing intelligence to your fingertips.
You can create your own programmes and share them with the community so everybody can enjoy growing all types of plants, fruits and veggies.
We will build a world around Niwa that will put advanced gardening knowledge into the hands of anyone and everyone, offering a freedom never seen before.
- SHIPPING IS NOT INCLUDED.
- ESTIMATED DELIVERY FOR ALL NIWAS IS JAN 2015.
Niwa comes in 3 different models:
- Niwa mini: A smaller version of Niwa.
- Niwa (standard): The standard version of Niwa.
- Niwa Premium: Standard size but with a nice anodized aluminium poles, instead of the PVC white ones of the other two versions.
- Mini: 27" High x 19" Wide x 8" Deep
- Standard and Premium: 35" High x 19" Wide x 8" Deep
Niwa is built on the Spark technology, the best solution to build internet-connected hardware.
Niwa is the culmination of two years of research and development, the result of many iterations, trials, and prototypes. We made the first fully functional prototype back in early 2013, this one already had temperature control, smart light and automated watering. It was made out of plywood and grew some beautiful, tasty tomatoes!
We also made it to Startup Weekend Manchaster and made some noise being the only team building hardware and software during the weekend. And we did it!
The winning team!
Our small scale prototype that was Arduino-based
Aga pitching Niwa (previously known as "Growot"!)
We have spent the last four months in Shenzhen, China, sourcing factories and prototyping as part of HAXLR8R, the most prominent hardware startup accelerator in the world. We worked with agricultural experts, and interior and industrial designers to achieve not only the very best performance and beautiful design, but also a model that would be efficient to manufacture.
Peter, our incredible industrial designer, who helped us get Niwa ready for manufacturing.
The team visiting a prototyping factory in China
Checking out injection molding. The one used for Niwa will be way bigger
Niwa will be produced through injection molding. You can see one of them in the picture, but our will be way bigger.
Javier inspecting the first elements of a Niwa prototype
Putting it all together. Niwa will come in an easy to assemble kit!
We’ve been working with an amazing manufacturing team in Shenzhen who have helped us take Niwa from a prototype to a finished, ready to manufacture product. Now we’re ready to bring it to you at the most affordable price possible and we’re positive you will love what we have.
Our real, fully functional prototype! Can you see a pepper?
The Niwa Mini still grows mighty tasty stuff!
We’ve always dreamt about great technology and our passion is using it to make a change in people’s lives. We believe enabling people to grow their own food from the comfort of their homes can have a tremendous impact on the environment, economy, and everyday lives of people around the world. We all bring different strengths and expertise to the table but combined they form an amazing superpower that’s helped create an incredible product.
Niwa has been in development for a couple of years. We’ve successfully built multiple working prototypes that have grown some super tasty stuff and now we want to share this with consumers around the world. By giving us your confidence via Kickstarter, you’re helping us fund the initial production of Niwa and the start-up manufacturing costs. In return for your support we’re giving you access to Niwa at a super low price so you can enjoy growing things as much as we have.
We’ve already got the tricky stuff like manufacturing and supply chain figured out, we’re asking for you help to give us a final push in the right direction.
Where do your funds go?
- Setting up tooling for production
- Ordering the components for the first production run
- CE and FCC certification costs
- Android and iOS app development and testing
Support us now and be one of the first to experience how smart growing systems can redefine how we grow, eat and live!
Many people have worked around the clock to make Niwa happen. Thank you Cyril Ebersweiler; Benjamin Joffe; Shawn Broderick; Peter Wang; Qiyu Wu; Nick Plante; Katerina Jackson; Claire Braithwaite; Rubén Iglesias; Josán Andrade; Alejandro Gómez; Beatriz Liñán; our families; Jeff and Yvonne; Marianne Jordan; Marcos Hidalgo; Hnos. Mercader; Spencer Austin; Jamie Cheng; James Atkins; Steve Forte; Joe Payton; Pat Larsen, Alan Clayton; Noel Joyce; Rong Rong; Atomman (Li Long); LokaLove; Omkar Golatkar; Dorota Seliga; Marcin Nazaruk, Pawel Nazaruk, Reem, Billy, Dani, Keri, Sophia, Agnes, Lavie Sak, all HAX teams; and many others!
Risks and challenges
Hardware development possesses unique challenges and there are always a few risks that come from delivering such a product. Because we have already created a number of successful prototypes, we have the utmost confidence in our design, our core technology and its capabilities.
For the past few months we've been based in China adding finishing touches to Niwa, and we were lucky enough to partner with a highly experienced manufacturer that will help us keep risks to a bare minimum. Our supply chain and manufacturing process is in place, and we have already developed our final, production-ready product.
However, there are some risks with the production of Niwa which could affect our delivery time. The main risk is the certification process. Although all parts in the current prototype are certified, Niwa has to pass a certification process from the FCC, and another from the CE. It’s not clear how long this will take because it’s an iterative process and after each batch of results we may need to do small changes to the design, or make a new prototype and start the process again.
Other minor risks are unforeseen changes in component and production lead times, and availability and cost of components. There are also some risks associated with shipping, but we plan to work with proven and established shippers to ensure successful and timely delivery of Niwa.
Whatever happens along the journey, we’ll always remain completely transparent to make sure we get Niwa to your doorstep.
The Niwa app is available for iPhone and Android.
Hydroponics have been replacing natural soil for a number of reasons, but one of the most important is that it uses a clean, natural, inert substrate without the soil pathogen problems than can limit plant growth. Hydroponics don’t need disinfection practices that can be costly and have a harmful effect upon the environment.
Another very important point about hydroponics is that they’re significantly more efficient than any other growth system, particularly in recirculating models like Niwa. This makes important savings on quantity of water required (~60% less than soil growth systems) and goes a long way to provide the highest amount of nutrients whilst avoiding soil and water contamination.
When irrigation and climatic parameters are well defined, plant growth is easier and faster. In professional fields yield production is highest in hydroponic systems.Hydroponics also allow people to cultivate on a number of surfaces, including indoors, because soil is not a requirement.
With hydroponics and our current range of sizes, you can grow just about anything that will fit inside the tray (no trees though—we’ve already tried!). This includes most house plants, flowers, vegetables, several kinds of fruits and various herbs. You can’t grow root vegetables just yet, as this requires a different tray, but we’ll be offering this in the near future. Keep an eye out! Initially, we’ll provide just a few programs for the most common vegetables, but we encourage our more experienced community members to develop their own programs and share them so that everybody can grow exciting, less common plants.
Our current prototype specs are 35" (91 cm), 8" (21 cm), 19" (49 cm). Our small one is 68 cm tall. In the future, we will offer not only a number of different sizes but also different items that incorporate our technology; shelves, kitchen islands, tables, even a vertical Niwa or an aquarium-like model. Get ready to make your indoor space deliciously edible!
Our standard size can grow 3 to 5 tomatoes a week, 2 to 3 peppers and one salad when functioning at its peak. Bear in mind that the number of vegetables a living plant can grow will vary and likely decrease as the plant matures. Niwa is extremely scalable, however. To increase produce yield, simply add more devices. We will also be offering an expandable modular design for even greater versatility.
Imagine taking complex greenhouse technology and putting it right in your living room. Niwa is a fully automated hydroponic system that uses sensors and actuators to simulate real environmental conditions. To start growing, just tell our app what kind of plant you’ve selected. A program specific to that plant will load, initiating a lighting and irrigation sequence and the right conditions for the type of plant and its stage of growth. As it grows, the app will ask for feedback, for example, can you see any leaves? The software will then adjust its settings based on this feedback to provide an even better environment for your plant to thrive.
When you open your Niwa box, you’ll see that most of the elements are already in place. Putting them together will take about 5 minutes, with a few simple instructions. Then download the app!
Although the system is automated, you are caring for real plants, so some minimal maintenance is involved. Depending on the plant, you will likely have to refill the water reservoir every 1 to 2 weeks, remove some dead leaves, clean the reservoir and add nutrients on a regular basis. Not to worry though—all of these tasks are managed by the app, and you will be notified of exactly what to do and when.
1. Even a kid can use it. We believe that growing should be fun, easy and accessible. Niwa is the first hydroponic system that’s fully automated, connected to and managed from your mobile interface so that anyone, even with no gardening knowledge whatsoever, can grow like an experienced farmer.
2. It’s simple, affordable and stylish. Most of the bigger hydroponic systems are just the opposite; complicated, expensive and not aesthetically pleasing. Niwa’s good looks are bound to attract the attention of visiting friends, making growing a hot topic of conversation.
3. It’s responsive. Though Niwa is fully automated, self-adjusting every setting to match your plant’s growth cycle, automated adjustments are based on estimates. That’s why we involve you as a user, to provide critical feedback. For example, we’ll ask you questions like, “Can you see any leaves?” to determine the plant’s stage of development. Our software will adjust its settings based on your responses.
We’re here to help anytime. Whatever the problem is, whether your plant isn’t growing well or you’re experiencing issues with the hardware or software, we’ll make sure that your Niwa experience is effortless and flawless.
The shipping is not included in the price, we are trying to get the best prices, so we will ask you for the shipping cost later. The maximum prices we are estimating are:
40USD - For the US
60USD - Outside the US
Niwa Makers kit:
20USD - For the US
40USD - Outside the US
LED light is quite special, as it’s a discrete light. This means that unlike the natural sunlight, not all the spectrum is covered, LEDs generate just a very narrow part of the spectrum, that’s why normally you need to use several kind of LEDs to emulate the natural light, that has a “full spectrum”.
We have several trials using LED lights now, the plants are performing well, but they are behaving differently, different color and they grow taller and thinner. We have launch the first version of Niwa with a CFL lamp because they are much more powerful than LED, cheaper, and plants still grow great. We are working on our next generation of device with LED lights, but before launch we want to be totally sure of what our customers are going to get. The downside is that LED will be substantially more expensive.
- Niwa's WiFi electronics (3 outputs up to 150W (Pump/Heater/Lamp) + 1 output up to 12v10W (Fan).
- Temperature, Humidity and Light sensors.
- E27 CFL Lamp 100W; 6500ºK.
- E27 Lamp holder.
- Water pump + hose + 6xdrippers.
- 80mm 12v fan.
- 100w heater wire.
- Layouts to make a plywood version.
Niwa has a 100w CFL lamp and a 100w heating element, if you place the Niwa close to a sunny window its smart lighting system will switch on the lights less often, saving energy. Something similar happen with the heating system, if Niwa is in a sunny place or a warm window it will take advantage of it, using the heating element less. The MAX consumption will be around 225W (if the heating element and the lamp are ON at the same time) while the average per hour should be 25-50W/h depending in the plant’s needs and the context where Niwa is placed.
Niwa uses rockwool, but can use whatever you want, like clay or perlite…You can even use soil if you want to!
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