Open-source robot to optimize backyard gardening

farmbot-rendering

1. Sustainability Problem

Food and agriculture: There is growing demand in cities for local produce, but small-scale gardening tends to be both labor-intensive and resource inefficient.

2. Technology Article Summary

Article:
The FarmBot Genesis Brings Precision Agriculture To Your Own Backyard

by Andrew Hayward
Published 6/27/2016 on modern farmer at http://modernfarmer.com/2016/06/farmbot-genesis/

  • A three-person team from California has developed a data-enabled machine to sow and water seeds in small gardens.
  • The FarmBot Genesis is pre-programmed to optimize spacing and watering for thirty three common plant varieties – but the open source coding means that it can be adapted by the user for specific applications.
  • The bot can be controlled from a smartphone or computer, and users can customize plantings using in a simple interface that looks like a computer game.
  • The current system can manage a plot up to 2.9 meters × 1.4 meters, with a maximum plant height of 0.5 meters – but there is potential to develop and customize the technology for a variety of applications.

3. Organizational Stakeholders

This technology is now available for pre-order, and the immediate stakeholders will be:

  • Backyard farmers
  • Urban agriculture organizations and cooperatives

Because the technology is open source and has potential for development, future stakeholders could include:

  • Operators of commercial-scale greenhouse operations
  • Plant researchers working in controlled environments

4. Deployment

The next three stages in deploying this technology could be:

  • Creators: disseminate the Genesis model
  • Early adopters: identify value-add applications
  • Creators: scale up manufacturing to bring cost below $1000/unit

See also:

 

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One thought on “Open-source robot to optimize backyard gardening

  1. I love that it is open source because you can continue to adapt and adjust the technology as new knowledge comes in and more people test the technology!

    Like

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