FarmBot Genesis – CNC farming
An open-source robotic farming machine for home automated food production.
July 12, 2016
by Canadian Packaging staff
If you are going to do home farming with a robot, FarmBot Genesis seems like an interesting choice.
The FarmBot company is looking to bring precision farming to the backyard as the future of agriculture, sustainability and the food industry with a robotic system that plants the seeds, monitors the plants, does watering and even weeding thanks to interchangeable heads.
Compact, the FarmBot Genesis is currently designed to oversee a vegetable plot that is 1.5 meters wide and 3.0 meters long and since it is weatherproof can be placed outdoors, in a greenhouse or on a roof. Whatever your lazy heart desires.
Laziness for actual farming aside, some level of skill is required to get started.
FarmBot Genesis is a DIY (do-it-yourself) precision farming solution that seems like a great solution for people who aren’t the best farmers, but still want to give it a shot, and all one needs is an Ikea-level of competence to assemble the robotic system.
Yes, it looks like a waterproof CNC-machine, but FarmBot Genesis comes with disassembled hardware packages for an Arduino Mega 2560 and a Raspberry Pi 2 Model B along with access to open-source software.
The FarmBot Genesis runs on custom-built tracks and supporting infrastructure you, the wood-be farmer, assemble yourself. You can find the step-by-step instructions within the online FarmBot community website—the robot uses a software platform that users access through FarmBot’s web App.
The physical FarmBot Genesis system is aligned with the crops you plot out in your virtual version on the web app. By doing so, FarmBot Genesis can now plant the seeds, and accurately dispense the proper amount of water, fertilizer and other resources to keep plants healthy and thriving.
Since it doesn’t require any delicate sensor technology, FarmBot is a cheaper solution than the industrial precision farming equipment on the market. And with its universal tool mount, you can adapt FarmBot Genesis to do pretty much any garden task you desire—even the annoying task of weeding. See? Lazy farming at its best.
While FarmBot’s on-line whitepaper points out that there is a need to grow more food owing to a growing population, FarmBot Genesis isn’t that solution—as of this point in time. If one was to enlarge the concept to cover a farmer’s field—then we might indeed have the future of farming.
But for now, FarmBot Genesis is a very nice tool for growing your own backyard vegetable garden—although Canadian Packaging is unsure if the ROI (return on investment) price per tomato will make it an economically feasible success story, it does seem like a step towards the future.
Company information can be found at www.farmbot.io.