Percival Scientific partnered with Iowa State University to design customized growth chambers for a project called Enviratron, which was initially funded by the National Science Foundation.
The project goal was to create a facility where researchers could conduct automated phenotyping of plants under a variety of environmental conditions in a single experiment.
Knowing the challenges the project would present, the Iowa State University Enviratron team was seeking a partner who was innovative in growth chamber design. Not only did Percival Scientific fit this description, but the long-standing working relationship Percival has enjoyed with Iowa State University made the company a natural choice for the Enviratron project.
The biggest challenge for the project team was creating a way to transport cameras and sensors to multiple growth chambers and collect data with minimal disturbance to the chamber environments. The team fabricated a robotic rover to do this, and Percival designed a highly customized chamber from the ground up to work in synchronization with the rover. The design includes an vestibule door system on the back of the chamber that closes behind the rover after it enters and an automated protection shield inside the chamber that lifts once the vestibule door is closed.
Percival also allowed the Enviratron team to access the chamber system protocols so the team could program the chambers to synchronize with the rover.
Percival was involved with the project from the earliest stages and collaborated closely with the Enviratron team during the planning, development and construction of the research facility. Percival also maintains an ongoing relationship with the team, meeting regularly with them to help find solutions to new challenges that arise as the project progresses. The Enviratron team considers Percival Scientific an indispensable partner and an integral part of the project’s success.
“Percival was very motivated to collaborate with us right in the very beginning of the proposal stage of this project.”
Lie Tang, Iowa State University Associate Professor, Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering
“These are not standard chambers. They’ve been designed from the ground up specifically for the Enviratron project.”
Steve Whitham, Iowa State University Professor, Plant Pathology and Microbiology
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