The field of robotics has taken our world by storm. We see robots in play almost in every sphere of life now and they are not limited to conventional fields anymore. Robots are slowly becoming a part of our everyday existence.
A huge step in this direction is the introduction of FarmBot, a robot that can help farmers and growers in farming. This breakthrough will make the process of farming autonomous. Not just this, it will also make farming precise, faster and efficient in all respects.
FarmBot has been designed and developed by three engineers Rory Aronson, Rick Carlino and Tim Evers in 2014. In a joint venture, they created a company by the name of FarmBot whose sole purpose was to provide good quality hardware kits along with software services to farmers. A secondary aim of this company was to act as a funding source for maintaining the open source community.
FarmBot is an extremely precise machine because it is run by a computer program. It is a computer numeric controlled machine and is an open source farming project which works on the Cartesian coordinate system for planting and sowing. Cartesian coordinates are numbers which indicate the location of a point relative to a fixed reference point which is the origin, being its shortest perpendicular distances from two fixed axes which intersect at right angles at the origin.
The machine’s design and assembly have been deliberately kept very simple, making it possible for anyone to build it using the manuals that come along with it. All its parts and components can easily be made if requisite tools are available. All the plan and data files of parts used in the machine are available which can be used to manufacture them.
Since the project is an open source project, it is accessible to everyone. This open source mechanism not only adds to the refinement of the software but also makes it flexible and easy to use for its users. Not only this, but the hardware can also be changed and adjusted as per requirement of the user.
Apart from sowing plants, this machine can remove weeds from the bed it is working on. When it is placed on the particular bed in which any seeds are sown, it automatically hammers them back into the ground. Since it is an autonomous robot which can work on the installed program, it can also be reviewed from a remote location on your cell phone. The camera is fixed on the top for viewing the complete process thus enabling remote handling of the machine.
Apart from sowing seeds and removing weeds, this robot can be used for soil-sensing and to provide information to the user regarding the type of soil it is working on. The system can be connected to a water source in order to regulate the quantity of water provided to the plants and in the precise proportion after constant monitoring through the attached camera.
The best feature of this robot is its ability to be run on solar energy. Because it can be run on this alternate source of energy, it is not only convenient to use anywhere but is also good for the environment. All farming machines so far either require manpower or are run on fossil fuel. The ability to be run on solar energy makes this an eco-friendly green robot.
In a nutshell, FarmBot has given an altogether new direction to farmers worldwide by the introduction of robotics to the field of farming and agriculture. Robots and AI are our future and their use in every area of life is a necessity.
By designing such a low-cost, easy-to-use robot, farmers far and wide can benefit from it equally. Not just professional farmers, FarmBot is also ideal for the amateur backyard veggie growers. It is ideal for anyone who wants to grow their own food anywhere in the world.