The QIEM-Array

An Innovative Seed Germination Apparatus

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The constantly growing world population has en ever-increasing food supply demand. With the decreasing quality of available agricultural land, innovations in the agricultural sector will play an increasingly crucial role. Increasing productivity, improving quality and increasing the nutritional values of the end products are key in combating the problems. In the seed industry, several germination tables and cabinets have been used for decades (figures on next page). These are used to determine the quality and germination power of seeds, and to find optimum germination conditions. These devices are low-tech, labor-intensive and prone to inconsistencies in results caused by subjective human classification.

The company Quantified from Leiden, along with the companies M91200 and Idematica, saw an opportunity to develop the germination table of the future; The QIEM-Array. It aims to automate some of the steps of germination research and provide advanced data to the user. This graduation project was conducted in the first phase of the QIEM-Array project. After a problem analysis, literature review and interviews with users, a first prototype was developed. This prototype has nine individually-controllable cells in which germination tests can be done. In these cells the temperature and light can be controlled, the moisture can be measured and pictures of the seeds can be taken. The data and pictures can be used for advanced analysis with machine learning algorithms.