Fourth Industrial Revolution

This robot farmer can grow your food for you

Farmbot sows the seeds, sprays the crops and even removes weeds from your vegetable patch Image: Farmbot

Andrea Willige
Senior Writer, Forum Agenda
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Fourth Industrial Revolution

If you’ve always wanted to grow your own fruit and vegetables but don’t have ‘green fingers’, then Farmbot Genesis is the gadget you’ve been waiting for.

Farmbot sows the seeds and sprays the crops, and it even removes weeds from your vegetable patch. All you have to do is harvest your produce once it’s ready.

Image: Farmbot

Farmbot runs on custom-built, extensible tracks using open-source software. Once the system has been set up on its tracks, you can configure it via an app. A game-like user interface lets you design your patch by dragging and dropping plants onto a virtual map of your bed. Seeds are spaced automatically and you can apply different growing plans for each plant.

Farmbot can be controlled from any device, and its tools can also be operated manually, for example to scare birds off.

Image: Farmbot

The computing power behind Farmbot comes from Raspberry Pi, the small single-board computer originally developed to teach basic computer science in schools and in developing countries. All of FarmBot’s plastic components can be 3D-printed with entry-level devices, and its metal connectors can be made with tools as advanced as a CNC (Computer Numerical Control) mill or as simple as a hacksaw.

Farmbot is an example of precision farming, which has been described as the future of agriculture and food production. Precision farming used to require heavy machinery and high capital investments. Farmbot is now applying a ‘maker culture’ approach to the concept, allowing a much wider community of users to benefit from it.

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Related topics:
Fourth Industrial RevolutionArtificial IntelligenceEntrepreneurshipFuture of the Environment
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