- Founders: Sharan Avati, Sanu Davis and Vinay Hiremath
- Founded in: 2018
- Employees: 3
- Money raised: self-funded
- Ultimate goal: Making greenhouses smart
Managing lighting in an environment such as a greenhouse – where thousands of lamps are connected simultaneously – is key to growing high-quality produce. Cosmicnode developed an end-to-end solution for connected lighting that allows growers to adjust and control lights remotely. The system can control up to 32.767 lamps at the same time. The same principle can be scaled for other applications, such as automation for buildings. Innovation Origins spoke to Vinay Hiremath, one of Cosmicnode’s founders. The start-up is located at High Tech Campus Eindhoven.
What does your company focus on?
“Cosmicnode is focused on building energy-efficient and cost-effective solutions for growers and building owners. We provide plug-and-play control devices and sensors to lighting manufacturers and climate computer companies. Our product has three different use cases: horticulture, building automation, and livestock. HortiNXT is the system we have developed to control lighting remotely in greenhouses. By using it, the grower can dim light – each crop requires a different light spectrum – and monitor the greenhouse remotely. All lamps are connected to a gateway, which serves as a data collector. Within the same greenhouse, lights can be grouped and controlled differently – if, for instance, there are different types of crops. Then the information is sent to the system, which analyzes it and presents it to the user.”
What are the advantages for a grower?
“Firstly, it saves a lot of energy, as farmers only use the amount of lighting they need. Secondly, plants are healthier, and farmers can expect better yields. Through our mobile app, they can schedule the amount of light up to the harvest from day one. As a result, they optimize the use of light in every step of the plants’ growth. Our system can connect to other sensors that are present in a greenhouse which measures temperature, humidity, and soil moisture. All the information is shown to the grower in a dashboard.”
How did you come up with the idea?
“We are passionate about the usage of technology in solving real-life challenges. Due to our strong background in the wireless technology industry, we believe reliable wireless technology can significantly reduce the costs in buildings by eliminating wires and complex installations. Initially, our idea was to build products and sell them directly to the consumers. Due to the many challenges in the supply chain, competitive pricing, and the abundance of other players in the market, we made a switch to the industrial market. This is where we saw a great opportunity in the greenhouse and building automation sectors. We then found our first customer who believed in our solution. Today, HortiNXT is deployed in more than 20 greenhouses and buildings in Europe and India, with more than 50 thousand wireless nodes in total so far.”
“Our goal is to become the market leader in providing intelligent and energy-efficient solutions for the horticulture and building automation industries in the upcoming years. I say this because of our expertise in lighting controls, sensors, and data platforms. We are on a mission to make greenhouses completely autonomous with high precision techniques. As part of this, we are also working with a plant scientist from Wageningen University to build data models using Artificial Intelligence.”