Anyone have the farmbot planting

I am seeing everyone talking about workingto get it up and running but does anyone have one fully working and planting?

Mine is in the process of planting. I planted some carrots a few days ago and am planting green onions today. Finding some issues with the vacuum though, where the tool isn’t making a tight enough connection to the UTM, losing some suction, and the seeds aren’t being held up by the needle well enough as a result. Just have to keep an eye on it to make sure it grabs the seeds well.

We also have our farmbot with working planting sequences, but as @Rassah mentioned there are issues with the tool losing suction sometimes not picking up seeds (which end up with the tool sucking up soil and getting clogged). Does anyone know if there is a redesign in the works? We’ve been thinking on having the seeds inside the seeding tool and some kind of mechanism to eject the seeds one by one.

I think at least having a way to redirect suction and blowing from the tool would be a good idea. Maybe another solenoid between the pump that can switch whether the pump is sucking or blowing, a much larger needle that can fit the whole seed, a mesh to keep the seed and dirt from going into the tube, and once it sticks the tube into the ground, reverse the suction and blow the seed and any dirt out.
With regards to losing suction, I’m going to experiment with putting a thin layer of silicon over the top of the puck in the area where the suction tube is. Hopefully the rubber gasket on the UTM and the silicon on the seeder tool together will help.

With v1.3 hardware we are moving the vacuum pump to the z-axis and putting it under a plastic cover. This reduces the tube length from 6m to about 0.5m, which increases suction power at the needle quite a bit.

Something we have yet to figure out is how to prevent the needle from getting clogged. A blowing ability could work as long as it didn’t blow the tool off the mount. Using water to flush the needle might be another option worth exploring as well.

I actually get plenty of suction from the long tube, as long as I use a clamp or a rubber band to get the tool tight enough on there, but the shorter tube will fix the vacuum issue, where after the pump stops, there’s still vacuum in the long stretch of tube, and it either holds the seed if there is good enough contact with it, or it sucks up dirt as it’s pulled out of the ground. Less tubing means less to suck.

Oh that’s an interesting issue. A possible fix for that right now would be to add a Wait command between turning off the vacuum pump and pulling out of the ground?

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Good idea. I’ll do that.

I think a more reliable solution would be to reverse the vacuum pump so it blows out air while the needle is in the dirt. It will release the seeds, prevent dirt from going up the tool and it solves the ‘lingering’ vacuum effect.

How can I reverse the vacuum pump from the Arduino?

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The inlet of the pump always pulls air, while the outlet always pushes air. Perhaps you could try:

What is your current area of “use” with farmbot?

Do you only use it for watering, did you manage to create sequences for planting, moisture measurement?

I am very curious about community feedback!!!

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My bot is seeding, but one problem that I’ve run into is that the seed will come off the second it touches the ground. It’ll then stay there, while the needle keeps getting lowered into the ground, then coming out all clogged.

Has anyone experienced the same? Any workarounds? Less speed?

I believe the farmBot team is working to re-locate the vacuum pump to the z-axis so as to increase the force on the seed. I think they said this change will be in the next design.

Yes, in v1.3 we’re relocating the vacuum pump to the z-axis. It will be mounted with a new aluminum plate and have a new plastic housing to protect it from rain. This reduces the length of the tubing from 6m to about 0.5 m, so the suction is a lot more powerful at the needle.

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@roryaronson
Do you have any ETA for the v1.3 ?

If you pre-order today, you’ll hopefully get it around the end of August, but dependent on where you live and how long shipping/customs takes. The updated documentation and CAD models will be available around then as well I think.