Now you can buy FarmBot, a robot gardener that will fill your garden with gorgeous fresh organic produce, without having to go outside and doing anything! It’s the lazy gardener’s dream come true!
Say hello to the FarmBot. If you love growing your own vegetables but don’t really have it in you to keep it up properly, then this farmer robot is exactly what you need.
You can order this magnificent robotic beast for your garden. Set it up and grow gorgeous veges without breaking a sweat.
A Brief History of the FarmBot
The FarmBot project was started in 2011 when Rory Aronson – a mechanical engineering student at California Polytechnic State University – attended an elective course in organic agriculture.
There he learned about a tractor that used machine vision to detect and cover weeds. This removed the need for herbicides to kill the weeds, or manual labour to pull them out. It was genius…but the tractor cost over one million dollars.
The cost of such a great farming breakthrough put Rory in a spin. The world’s population is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050. No one is sure we have enough food for everyone. So, growing our own stuff in our own gardens will go a long way in aiding this mission.
But we are lazy, and our attention to detail wanes quickly. We get distracted and go do something else, and our crop dies.
But having accessible tech do the work for us makes it easy for the lazy gardeners amongst us to stay the course in growing their own produce.
Rory and some pals came up with the idea of the FarmBot and got some funding to manufacture it.
How FarmBot Works
The FarmBot works just like a dot matrix printer. It sows seeds in rows and knows exactly where every plant is from the start, so it can detect any interloper weeds quickly.
Pretty much anything that isn’t the official plant is pushed back into the soil by the robotic arm.
This farming robot is able to plant over 30 different crops, including potatoes, peas, squash, artichokes and chard in an area of 2.9 meters × 1.4 meters.
It can cultivate a variety of crops within same area at the same time and is able to operate indoors, outdoors and in covered areas.
Why You Should Get One
It is estimated that the FarmBot produces 25% fewer carbon dioxide emissions than standard food production.
But because it’s a robot, it requires electricity, an internet connection, and water supply. These all can be provided using off-grid solutions.
A water barrel can collect rain. And a solar panel and battery can provide electricity. The FarmBot then uses the web to gather data about local weather conditions, among other things.
You, as an owner of FarmBot, can control your robot gardener slave on just about any internet enabled device. The app that goes with the FarmBot is like playing a game, such as Farmville, but with real-life results.
You can “plant” seeds via a drag-and-drop action. You can also control the water, fertiliser, pesticide, and seed spacing via the app. The app can even email you when your crops are ready.
There could come a day when this type of robot farmer could replace actual farm workers. FarmBots are also more precise with water and fertilisers.
Without the need for tractors, farmers would not have to plant produce in wide rows to make way for tractor wheels. Crops could be grown closer together, resulting in a higher yield.
How to Get One
The idea of having a robot farmer slave is totally awesome. This does mean that our relationship to the land becomes very distant, though.
But let’s face it; most of us don’t have a good relationship with the land anyway. Unless you are already a farmer.
Sound expensive? It actually isn’t – you can get a return on investment in a year or two. And after that, it’s all free veges!
You don’t even have to buy a FarmBot app. The blueprints are opensource, meaning that the instructions on how to build it yourself are free for anyone to download.
So if you are handy with a spanner, then you can save yourself a lot of money. If not, prices start at around $2600, and bigger models are around $5800.
If you do buy one, the FarmBot gets sent to you in bits, so you’ll have to put it together. Don’t worry, you don’t need to be an engineer to assemble it. Initial reviews suggest that construction of the FarmBot is easier than your standard Ikea item.
Just think, we could all have our own robot farmer with just a click of the mouse. Next? We dearly hope for a laundry robot.
To order: farm.bot ■