Mycelium isn’t likely the first thing you think of when you see the words “grow machine,” but creator Ashley Scarborough built this device to bring awareness to, and easily grow, this fungal structure. As described in the write-up, mycelium, which acts as a mushroom’s roots, is fire retardant, lightweight, strong, and grows using very few resources. It’s also extremely biodegradable. On the other hand, its natural environment is a dark wet place that’s not too cold, so unless you have easy access to a cave, these conditions aren’t easy to recreate.
The machine, which resembles a wooden dresser, is controlled by an Arduino-compatible Metro Mini, which senses the environment via light, temperature, and humidity sensors. Air is pushed into the incubation chamber using a blower, with a high-quality HEPA filter to keep it containment-free. Humidity inside is managed via an electric humidifier, and temperature is regulated by a series of heating pads. Even the light is regulated through an electronic smart tint film.
Whether or not you’re interested in fungus, the craftsmanship that went into this build is incredible, and lessons here could be applied to many other furniture-style hacks. Woodworking is top notch, and the control panel even features knurled metal control knobs that ‘scarborough machined himself. It should also be noted that, although mushrooms aren’t its intended purpose, this would make a great place for growing edible fungi as well!