SANlight Solution sheds light on the EPFL Lausanne research project for autonomous vegetable farms in extreme environments.
Under the coordination of the Swiss Space Center, IGLUNA enables students from all over the world
to collaboratively develop innovative technologies that can also be used far away from our Earth. A
team of students from EPFL Lausanne is also participating in the ESA demonstration project. The
team is developing a fully autonomous aeroponic system combined with a professional lighting
solution from SANlight Solution for growing vegetables in extreme environments. Like on the moon,
Jennersdorf, 04 February 2021 – The call for ideas for the lunar mission at the end of last year to participate
in ESA’s Open Space Innovation Platform (OSIP) met with great interest from the EPFL student team. With
their “Growbothhub” project, the Swiss team took part in the international competition. In a first version, the
“GrowbotHub project” took part in an international student project to build a habitat demonstrator for the
preservation of life in an extreme environment such as on the moon. The project to be designed and also
implemented aims at a fully automated system for growing and harvesting vegetables in extreme
environments. The team’s main focus is to design a system that minimises the resources required and can
autonomously carry out all the necessary steps from planting to pollination, cultivation and harvesting without
On the one hand, a particular challenge in the design and construction is the development of the
multifunctional robot, which has to reliably perform the individual steps and work precisely with the multi-level
shelf system. In the process, the vegetables are pulled into boxes under the SANlight Solution exposure
system and moved via a rail system to the robot arm to perform different tasks.
Each of the 16 boxes in the prototype is equipped with three to four luminaires from SANlight Solution’s
FLEX-PRO series. The EPFL student team chose this lighting solution for the following reasons:
• High quality of workmanship.
• Variety of variants enabled precise installation without time-consuming adjustments.
• Sunlight-like spectrum guarantees healthy and high-yield growth of the most common types of vegetables.
• Easy handling and installation.
• Low maintenance.
• Bridges sunless days and night.
The close cooperation with the R&D department of SANlight Solution offers the following advantages:
• Competent advice and solution-oriented approach.
• Expert support for the best lighting solution in this application.
• Optimal integration of the lighting solution into the autonomous control unit.
We wish the student team every success in the realisation of the “GrowbotHub” project and a convincing
presentation to the top-class jury of the ESA.