I love this movement! Put automation in the hands of every small farmer! Open source means this is truly authentic love it!!
My question is how moveable is Farmbot? Is it on it’s own stand, so I can pick it up and move it to my 10 different soil boxes around my large yard? I want to use it on all my soul areas.
I guess the next logical question is if people can make it on wheels and program a path around your yard, so you can just set up boxes of soil around your yard like in your Farmbot video, and it can manage all of them automatically itself, by driving itself from plot to plot (instead of being permanently fixed to a single box of soil).
But for now I’d totally settle for picking it up manually (maybe with some good handles?) and just placing it over each box myself.
Please answer, thanks very much!
I think you’d find it rather difficult to move for a number of reasons. Among these are: it is designed to be hard connected to a planter box or at least carefully sunk posts. It’s heavy–not sure how much exactly, but there is a lot of metal involved. It’s bulky too. it is connected to electrical, and water sources at very least. Data lines are probable too, though I supposed you could do something wireless if you really wanted to. I have not seen any discussion here about the practicality of its software being able to handle multiple planted areas, though I could have missed it. It seems likely that moving it would mess with the aimed for millimeter accuracy of the equipment. You could bend things or might not get it quite aligned right and some or all of your plants might get damaged by the weeding tool. That last might be overblown a bit, but that’s what comes to my mind.
Designing it as a really large cart might have some merit if you could get all the bending out of it, but that would add weight and cost and still wouldn’t fix the current software limitations or alignment issues as far as I can tell.
Dang well that’s definitely a limiting bummer; having the ability to handle many plots could really empower the average home planter and utilize the entire yard (not to mention making all the setup worthwhile).
What about building it so it has its own stand, and you put the soil boxes on wheels and slide them under the Farmbot one at a time as they need maintenance?
And have the boxes numbered and give the software the ability to store info about each plant box so it can resume maintenance on each one after you wheel it in.
That way you can have a giant yard filled with growing plants, while the bot stays in one place, connected to the water etc and everything it needs.
You might be able to make that work. The issues that come to my mind are proper alignment, actually being able to move a planter box of this size (dirt is reaaaaaaally heavy), and the length of the Z axis being off, potentially because of different soil heights etc.
Your post assumes away the software problem. If you are a programmer who could help with that sort of project, I would bet the farmbot team would like to talk to you.
I think I read somewhere that Rory’s farmbot does about 2 hours of work a day. It sounds to me like having multiple beds as you describe with that sort of daily cycle would be a more than full time job with some very hard physical work involved, but there may be really cool solutions that I haven’t considered.
Doesn’t it scan the plot somewhat? Or have a feeler / prodder tool? Even on the same plot, soil height can change due to rain and all sorts of things
And where would be the most helpful place for me to post this idea for everyone to see and possibly bring to life?
@WhiteOutMashups, welcome to the forum
If you would like to just hash out ideas as a discussion, here is a good place to do so. If you want to document some progress, or links, or other ideas longer term, you should use the wiki: http://wiki.farmbot.org/
Regarding your idea though: I agree with @hadavis that FarmBot is not meant to be moved. It is large, requires calibration, needs a sturdy foundation to be attached to, and it is tethered by electrical and water connections. The time spent moving FarmBot from bed to bed would be better spent just manually growing food yourself. Moving beds around underneath a fixed FarmBot is also an unlikely prospect outside of an industrial food-growing factory line of some sort. Soil is very heavy. Further, there is no current software roadmap to support multiple beds for one device.
This being said, if you want to grow more plants with one FarmBot, the very best way to do so is to expand the size of the device by either lengthening the tracks or making the gantry wider or both.
This is a common question that is asked, and the answer is always to make FarmBot bigger or get a conventional tractor if you want something that can move around freely.