MicroCEA: Developing a Personal Urban Smart Farming Device

Joseph D. Stevens, Talal Shaikh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

13 Citations (Scopus)


Growing population, increasing urbanization and competition for shrinking resources, Food Security is a challenge around the world. The UN has made it a top priority in their Global Goals to promote sustainable agricultural practices with modern technologies and fair distribution system to sustain the world's population. In this paper we investigate the implementation of a micro controlled environment agriculture system, the MicroCEA, a smart device that automates growing vegetables in an urban indoor residential setting. We have constructed and tested the device and the platform in the United Arab Emirates where about 80% of the food is imported.Our urban smart farming device is based on an extension of the MIT Food Computer version 1, which was adapted to the local environment based on the materials and equipment that could be locally sourced here. To develop our prototype the action research methodology was employed to leverage findings and to improve the next stage of the prototype development. We present our research into the design and testing of a prototyped Internet of Things (IoT) MicroCEA device after comparing other similar open source systems. A new IoT architecture for urban smart farming devices, a set of lessons learned that can be used in forwarding this field of study that can contribute toward achieving food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2018 2nd International Conference on Smart Grid and Smart Cities (ICSGSC)
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781538681022
Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2018
Event2nd International Conference on Smart Grid and Smart Cities 2018 - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Duration: 12 Aug 201814 Aug 2018


Conference2nd International Conference on Smart Grid and Smart Cities 2018
Abbreviated titleICSGSC 2018
CityKuala Lumpur


  • Action research system development
  • Controlled environment agriculture
  • Digital farming
  • Personal food computer
  • Smart farming
  • Smart farming architecture
  • Urban farming

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Water Science and Technology


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