Commercial Production

First off, I just want to say that I love this. Everything about it, starting with the reason FarmBot was created in the first place.

I want to know if it is in the works to consider using this technology on a commercial scale?

I manage the operations at my family greenhouse in Ontario, Canada. We are just a small business and are always looking for new methods, technology and ideas to implement. The moment I saw the video for FarmBot, I automatically thought how amazing it would be to have one on a commercial scale.

For example, one of our hoop houses is 22’x100’. The path in the middle is 2’. Having a FarmBot on either side of the greenhouse managing the crops throughout the growing cycle sounds like a dream. It even seems accurate enough for potted production.

Is this even possible on such a scale? If it is, I would love to be able to work with the people at FarmBot to develop and implement this technology at my greenhouse.

Hi Riggs,

Yes I think FarmBot can scale to the size you need (small to medium commercial). We currently have a prototype in the works that is 3m x 6m (10’ x 20’) and we hope to make a prototype that is twice or three times that length next year!

That is fantastic!

I am looking to start organic herb production over the next year and think that using a tool like this would be a great help. It takes a while to get certified organic and there are lots of “ins and outs” when looking at doing this.

I will be checking back for updates regarding a large scale FarmBot. Implementing this technology in potted production has a wide range of benefits and would it will be interesting to see if it is economically feasible in regards to a commercial greenhouse.

I am really interested in what it takes to make a farmbot 3 meters wide, as this is the size I am hoping to implement at my church. I believe there was discussion of using NEMA 23 stepper motors for longer versions of this since they would need to drag longer cables around etc. Is there any rule of thumb for at what point the more powerful motors should be used?

Making the gantry 3m wide at the least requires an extra aluminum extrusion, a connecting/joining plate, more cable carrier supports, and longer cable carrier, belt, wiring, and tubing.

From there you will most likely need either a larger motor (NEMA 23) or a second NEMA 17 in order to move the extra gantry weight reliably, and pull the extra cable carrier if you decide to extend the tracks too.

We advise adding a second NEMA 17 because then you can use the stock FarmBot electronics. Using a NEMA 23 would require an additional, separate stepper driver, which would not fit into the stock electronics box, so that would need modification as well.

If you have taken a look at the latest CAD models for v1.1, you’ll notice that we’ve added in a second NEMA 17 and removed the driveshaft. This is in preparation for larger devices, for people to extend their tracks, and to allow the gantry on the smaller devices to accelerate and move faster without skipping steps.

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How did you make out with this?