【COMPUTEX 2015】Fish & Herbs, mini aquaponics with charging port, under spotlight at Computex

6 Jun

Fish & Herbs, a combination of hybrid fish tank and potted plant, was on display by Taiwanese design firm Arky Design at the Computex 2015. The device, called an aquaponics by Arky, was designed by two students from the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology. From working on a graduate project to pushing for a retail product, the students have come a long way and proven that crowdfunding sites are one of the best places for young innovators to realize their dreams.


Fish & Herbs is a near closed-loop ecosystem that combines a potted plant, a fish tank and nutrifiers. The LED light on the device provides grow lights for the plant and the motor sustains an oxygen-rich tank for the fish. The ecosystem relies on fish feces and leftover fish feed as a fertilizer for the plant. As the motor pumps water to the plant, the siphon overflow transports water back to the fish tank.


The aquaponics features a round body and is the size of a soccer ball. The device goes well both at home and workplace. The LED light uses a touch switch and is powered via a USB cable. The charging port on the aquaponics can also be used to charge mobile devices, turning the fish tank into a power bank device.



The aquaponics was a graduate project by two students. In 2013, the students’ fundraising on crowdfunding website HereO fell through due mainly to their difficulty translating ideas to product. Gathering suggestions from supporters, they revised the design and returned for another round of fundraising in 2014. The revised version has a smaller size and added the USB charging feature. They raised NT$700,000 (US$22,541) and pushed the product to mass production.


The students have come a long way but they did not come without help. Behind them was Arky Design, which provides a platform for up-and-coming designers to display their ideas. Arky Design can also help designers translate ideas into sketches and formulate a panel of experts to assess the feasibility and level of innovation. Designers are provided with two options — raising funds on crowdfunding sites or having their designs evaluated, priced, produced and sold by Arky Design. Tommy Chen, founder of Arky Design, said he hopes to build a platform that can help Taiwanese young people turn dreams into reality.

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