Popular Science’s ‘Garage Invention’ Awards 2010: Groasis Waterboxx

‘Garage inventors’ is a term used to describe individuals or groups of inventors that create independently.

They are not on a salary or salary/incentive basis, paid by their companies to invent; they work alone, on their own or in small groups, generally in someone’s garage or other part of the home.

Popular Science recognizes the accomplishments of these independent inventors yearly in the June issue of its magazine.

Today, we take a look at Groasis Waterboxx: A Biomimetic Planter.

In his past life as a flower exporter, Pieter Hoff often oversaw the evening activities of his lilies. He noticed that the plants collected condensation on their leaves and the water droplets were sucked in by the leaves as they cooled.

Mimicking nature’s efficient watering system, Hoff developed a planter that could capture water in the same manner to foster sapling trees even in harsh conditions.

The Groasis Waterboxx is designed as a plant incubator, which cools faster than the night air, allowing water to condense and flow into it along with rainwater to keep the plant and its roots hydrated and protected.

Hoff’s tests of the Waterboxx in the Sahara have been quite successful; after one year of growing saplings in the desert, 88 percent of the trees he planted had green leaves, while 90 percent of those planted in the local method died from the scorching sun.

Photo by Popular Science.

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