Described as a gathering of “unconventional ingenuity, unbridled creativity, and a whole lot of forward thinking,” the Maker Faire Detroit took place July 30 and 31 at the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit. Matthew Reed, a DISHER Product Development Engineer, was among the hundreds of inventors who exhibited and demonstrated their ideas in this fantasyland of invention, creativity, and resourcefulness.


Matthew featured his HydroBot automated hydroponic control system which naturally grew out of his love of gardening and computer engineering. The display consisted of a small NFT hydroponic system that uses channels of running water to grow plants. In this system, the water is collected in a reservoir and circulated through the channels using a fountain pump. The HydroBot control system monitors air temperature, humidity, pressure, water flow rate, water level, and water temperature. It also controls the grow lights, water pumps, and reservoir drain and fill solenoids.”


Matthew designed the system “to bring sensors and actuators together through automation to allow hobby growers to focus on growing verses constantly monitoring and adjusting the environment to keep their garden stable.” HydroBot achieves this in three ways: facilitating optimal growing techniques that adapt to changing conditions; simplifying control interfaces to make setup and use easier for less tech-savvy gardeners; and using modular components to increase flexibility for every imaginable garden configuration. To read more about Matthew’s ingenious HydroBot and the vision behind it, visit his blog at Protofusion.


The Maker Faire Detroit is in its seventh year and had over 30,000 attendees walk through the myriad of exhibits. Look up Matthew at next year’s event where he’ll be demonstrating his latest invention or register to exhibit your own! Plan to bring your whole family as the show has creativity to stimulate every age.

Written By: Cynthia VanRenterghem – Marketing Project Manager |
Cynthia holds a B.A. in English and Political Science from Hope College and a MA from Johns Hopkins University in International Economics.  She also is a Certified PMP (Project Manager Professional). As a recent owner of a garden products company, Cynthia has extensive experience with product development and marketing from conception to launch. Cynthia enjoys traveling, downhill skiing, and cheering on her kids at any of their sporting or musical events.