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GOING HYDROMOBILE: Automated, Sealed Hydroponics Grow Rooms You Can Take on the Road

With a mobile grow room, your crop can thrive wherever you take it. With a mobile grow room, your crop can thrive wherever you take it.

It’s time to pack up your automated sealed grow room and take it on the road! If that sounds like an impossible dream, think again. Thanks to California technical wizard and hydropreneur Tom Patton, sophisticated, automated, plug-and-play sealed grow rooms are road-ready so you can grow wherever you have electricity.

Patton’s company, HydroBotanical Engineering LLC, manufactures four different styles of pre-built professional grow rooms, and three of them are on wheels. They’re called GrowBots, and they’ve been show-stoppers at hydroponics indoor gardening expos in California and Denver.

Why are they called GrowBots? Patton explains that GrowBots can be custom-built so all a grower has to do is provide electricity, water, nutrients, and plants, and the GrowBot system automates your hydroponics gardening. Furthermore, GrowBots are versatile, so you can choose from ebb and flow, aeroponics or aquaponics nutrients-irrigation systems, with automated nutrient dosage control for precise ppm that propels your plants to deliver eye-popping flowers!

The portable GrowBots come with road-ready wheels and chassis that meet or exceed highway safety standards.

There’s a GrowBot size to fit almost anybody’s needs. The smallest portable unit is 10 feet long, 9 feet wide, and 9 feet high. Next up is a 28-foot model that is 12 feet tall. The GrowBot 5200, known as “The Big Guy,” is a monster at 52 feet long, 9 feet wide, and 12 feet tall. You can configure it for separate cloning, mother plant, veg and grow rooms. It even features a drying/curing/manicuring room with the optimum environment for drying and prepping flowers.

The portable GrowBots come with road-ready wheels and chassis that meet or exceed highway safety standards. If you don’t need that kind of portability, the GrowBot 2000 is a 20-feet long, 10-feet high unit without wheels and chassis.

Rosebud caught up with Patton to learn how he imagineered the GrowBot concept, and what GrowBots offer you as a grower.

Rosebud Magazine: Most people build grow rooms into their houses or apartments, or they buy a small grow chamber that goes inside the place they live. What made you decide that the GrowBot mobile grow room concept would be of use to hydroponics growers?

Tom Patton: I kept hearing from growers about them having to build up, outfit, and take down their rooms. Especially if you’re a serious grower who wants your hydroponics gardening to pay your bills and then some, you’ve got lots of work to put in lights, circuitry, trays, tables, irrigation, and everything else that goes into it. It costs you a lot of time and money, and requires a steep learning curve. This is very much more true if you are doing a sealed room where every factor has to be balanced together to keep operating conditions at exactly where your plants need them to be. Many, many growers were telling me that they would be doing larger gardens and making more money if they could just get a ready-made room with pretty much everything done for them. So I decided to do it for them.

Rosebud Magazine: How did you know exactly what to do to build these innovative hydroponics spaces?

To come up with GrowBots, our team spent two years looking at all the features you need in an automated, commercial-yielding hydroponics grow space.

I’ve been in the technology sector for decades and have also been a general contractor doing major building projects all over the planet. I am really into cutting-edge design, and was involved in creating the Qbe, which is an award-winning personal computing tablet—the first of its type ever successfully brought to market. The Qbe combines laptop portability with the power of a desktop computer. That’s an example of what I like to do—make things more efficient so they give more power and productivity for the user.

Tom Patton: To come up with GrowBots, our team spent two years looking at all the features you need in an automated, commercial-yielding hydroponics grow space. It is easy to take for granted that growers deliver nutrients, water, light, climate control, air movement, and CO2 to their plants in the absolute sweet spot that delivers the shortest growing seasons and the largest yields. You also have to have air conditioning, air handling, odor control, water filtration, and air filtration. Getting all of this into a regular hydroponics room is itself a major engineering challenge; most grow ops, even ones making a lot of money, have deficits in one or more of these areas. To do this in a sealed grow room environment requires an even more careful approach.

We took care of those basics using the most plant-pleasing, user-friendly hardware and strategies you’ll ever see, but then we went beyond those basics and asked ourselves what else growers want and need that they’re not getting from their grow spaces.

We’ve had growers look at our designs and equipment and admit that they’ve never seen a grow room package that’s this modernized, safety-enhanced, and yield-increasing.

One of the main things that growers hadn’t even dreamed of—but it was on their minds—is to have a garden space that wasn’t rooted to one location. That’s what some of them had wanted when they got grow tents and grow chambers, but as you know, those spaces are just too small to give you the kind of production that puts much gold in your bank account. So we said to ourselves, let’s give them grow rooms on sturdy chassis with wheels so they can have the ultimate in hydroponics freedom.

Rosebud Magazine: What has growers’ eyes popping out of their heads is the sight of your 52-foot GrowBot that you can put on the highway and plug in wherever there is electricity.

Tom Patton: Size does matter, and we decided to give growers the ability to go right to the top of the ranks when it comes to their production potential. No matter how good your hydroponics techniques and materials are, if you’re limited to a few hundred square feet of space and older technology (like most growers are), you’re not going to be able to make a high-paying career from hydroponics. But when you have something like our GrowBot 5200, you are opening up some real earning potential, with the opportunity to capture a significant ROI (return on investment) in a relatively short time frame, especially when compared to a lot of traditional business investments.

The fact that you can move your grow room wherever you want it, that’s a liberating experience. Many of us want to live in a warm place in the winter and a cooler place in the summer. Or we have two homes. Or there’s a hydroponics business opportunity a thousand miles away and you don’t want to have your garden in one place and your business 10 hours away. It’s just incredibly convenient to have three of our four models on wheels for you. It opens up a whole new world of opportunity.

Rosebud Magazine: What other out-of-the-box thinking went into the GrowBot concept?

Tom Patton: Where we really exceeded even our own expectations is in the materials we used, the engineering, the automated aspects, and the security features. For example, these GrowBots are armored against electronic and infrared security risks. You have the option of installing the highest-tech monitoring and security systems that are accessible via apps for iPhone, Android, and Windows phones. You can also get fire protection systems. Our wiring and electrical transfer systems are designed and installed by top electrical engineers and electricians. Our irrigation systems give you the option to choose aeroponics, ebb and flow, or drip irrigation that’s controlled by the kinds of precision equipment used in professional agriculture.

Attention to detail, safety, durability, mobility, and the ability of the GrowBot to blend into the background are in part what we pride ourselves on. For example, we use a combination of insulation and a reflective barrier that greatly reduce your heat signature. Our closed air system keeps heavy aromas from escaping the envelope, and sound baffles and air-handling equipment keep everything at a whisper, with very low energy consumption.

We’ve had growers look at our designs and equipment and admit that they’ve never seen a grow room package that’s this modernized, safety-enhanced, and yield-increasing. Only one in 10,000 growers on his or her own would be able to design, build ,and outfit a grow space that has what GrowBots offer. That’s not a prideful statement on our part, it’s just a fact, because individual growers are not going to have access to the tools, space, materials, time, and pricing that we can get for top of the line hydroponics components. I also have to emphasize that because everything we install in GrowBots is put there to save time and money, you increase production and efficiency while seeing a 75 percent reduction in manpower needed to run these gardens compared to a conventional garden with similar lighting wattage.

Rosebud Magazine: Why did you choose Advanced Nutrients as your official nutrients for GrowBots?

Tom Patton: I saw that Big Mike understood the “wow” factor, and if you have ever seen one of our 52-foot GrowBots, they are indeed quite the wow factor. So I got in touch with Big Mike to see what he thought about a GrowBot configured with all the AN products—what you could call a Bad Ass Advanced Nutrients GrowBot. We’re working on the details of that. In the meantime, everybody is aware that Advanced Nutrients has the pH Perfect™ system that gives plants what no other nutrients system gives them in a way that’s very easy to administer. Automation and ease of use is what our GrowBots are all about, so this is a perfect fit.

Rosebud Magazine: Can someone with only a hobbyist’s level of hydroponics experience get one of your GrowBots and produce a huge harvest the first time without any hassles?

Tom Patton: We can’t give somebody a green thumb, nor do we provide plants, but we do offer a very high level of online and telephone support, along with our social networking site that allows growers to learn from one another. We offer different levels of one-on-one support to bring the GrowBot grower up to speed on his system and the varied grow methods that can be deployed with the GrowBot. As with all technology, there is a learning curve. However, we have done our best to make the technology transparent and the practical processes simple and easy to learn.

One other thing is that we continue to refine and optimize GrowBots, so you will see even more phenomenal applications of technology and automation that will take hydroponics gardening to a whole new level. Our GrowBot systems intelligently monitor your garden, so problems can be alleviated remotely using a web connected computer or smart phone. Not only that, but we offer a unique archival program that records every gardening and technical parameter, so you analyze historical and empirical data to determine adjustments that make your harvests bigger.

For more information on getting a GrowBot for yourself, contact HydroBotanical Engineering LLC at 888-391-4522 or email sales@growbot.com. Or check them out online at growbot.com

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Last modified on Tuesday, 10 July 2012 19:00

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