" Evie", the Hunt Institute’s mobile greenhouse, is the product of the 2016 Mustangs Give Back "Greenhouse for Good" campaign, aimed at improving the economic viability of producing food in small urban spaces to help address food security and nutrition challenges. Evie debuted at Earth Day Texas in 2017 where the student-made film about the multidisciplinary creation of the mobile greenhouse won the short film contest.
Now, we are embarking on Phase II of Evie, to maximize production efficiency and minimize cost. A team of mechanical engineering students has been working on finding a low-cost sustainable cooling solution. Another team is working on optimizing the growing environment, with extensive research in existing technology, best practices, and feedback from end users.
Currently, they are developing and implementing a high efficiency 3Dponic design for space optimization. 3Dponics is an open-source initiative that combines aeroponics, a form of soilless precision agriculture, and 3D printing. The flexibility afforded by printing the design in separate components makes it customizable and easily deployable in different locations while the use of aeroponics makes this a feasible solution under different environmental conditions. 3D printing will help reduce the cost of complex aeroponic systems, making controlled environment agriculture more accessible to disadvantaged communities, both locally and globally.