Does playing Farmville (and, more likely, Pot Farm) for 60% of your workday make you want to raise your own miniature plantation? Grow one in the comfort of your office cubicle with the LabBox Grower, which claims the unofficial title of "world's smallest automated hydroponic system."
Created by Micro Grow Project, the setup offers one of the most convenient ways to grow your own plants, herbs and...uhm...that thing they harvest on Pot Farm. With a grow box measuring a mere 5.40 x 5.20 x 1.44 inches (w x h x d), you can literally put one anywhere, including a spare shelf case, an empty area of your work desk or under the bed.
The LabBox Grower uses a pre-programmed PicAxe 14M microcontroller to facilitate a hands-off approach to all aspects of indoor growing, including watering cycles (four times a day), lighting schedules (you can choose from three options) and temperature settings (it maintains a 75-degree default). It is a fully-contained system, with its own automated drip system, nutrient delivery mechanism, high-intensity LEDs, onboard sensors, temperature controller and a miniature bio-containment unit for your plants. The microcontroller is programmed in the ancient language of BASIC and can be reprogrammed on your own for your specific preferences.
When you're away, you can control and monitor the plants right from a browser or using a downloadable iOS app. You can even have the damn things tweet periodic updates, so you'll always know how your experimental mutant herbs are doing. In case some hater tells the boss about the mini-plantation under your table, just pack up the grow box inside the included case, stash it with your books and it will look completely non-descript.
Honestly, I'm not sure what kind of plant you can grow in anything this small. If you do, you can pick up a LabBox Grower starting this Fall.