Since the last update in this thread we’ve accomplished quite a bit:
In December we debuted FarmBot Genesis XL and began accepting pre-orders for v1.4 hardware. We’re still wrapping up some aspects of the v1.4 hardware design, but about 80% of the parts are now in production or have been ordered. We’ve decided to manufacture 500 v1.4 devices (200 XL and 300 standard size) based on the pre-order rate and our available cash. We’re pretty excited to deliver these to customers as there are some really nice improvements that make FarmBot easier to assemble and more functional. (Details will not be shared until the documentation is released when the new bots start shipping)
We launched our full online shop which includes partial kits and all individual parts in addition to the full FarmBot kits. This has opened up our business to the DIYers out there who want to build/source some of the FarmBot themselves but want to order the specialty parts from us (IP67 power supply, Farmduino, electronics box, camera, motors with encoders, etc). We’ve also seen a number of orders from people upgrading their bots, which is pretty cool.
As mentioned in the Software category updates, we’ve been regularly adding new features to the codebases and laying the groundwork for larger improvements such as the long-heralded variables feature. Something that didn’t make it into the March 15 update post but I wanted to share now is just how cool it is to see photos rotated, scaled, and positioned in the garden map, which is all @Gabriel’s math and code at work. Here is what it looks like when you have your camera calibrated and do a scanning sequence of the whole garden bed:
Moving forward we’re continuing to invest in all aspects of FarmBot:
We’re researching other form factors of FarmBot, as well as other complexities/price points to suit different people’s needs. We’ll also continue to improve the electronics, look into partially assembled kits, improve the manufacturing/supply chain to support ever larger orders, and continue improving the open-source CAD resources and documentation.
We’ll continue investing the bulk of our human resources into software, particularly in making the configuration of FarmBot faster, especially for high numbers of plants and new users. Think: variables, looping, pre-built sequences and regimens, etc. Some of these features will require extensive development time, testing, and groundwork. Luckily, we’ve been planning for them for a long time, so much of our software so far has been built with the long term vision in mind.
We’re still adding more icons and information to the OpenFarm database. Unfortunately software development over there has been slow recently, but we plan to hire a dedicated person for improving and maintaining the OpenFarm codebase later this year. On the FarmBot side of things, we’re working towards being able to store and view historical sensor data. Think: saving hourly data from a temperature sensor and viewing it on a graph, or mapping soil moisture content of the whole garden and visualizing it in the farm designer.
We recently passed 100k followers on our Facebook page, more and more people are joining the forum and asking questions/making contributions on GitHub, and thousands of new people every day are learning about FarmBot and getting excited!
In July we’re moving our currently separate office and warehouse spaces into a combined 4,000 square foot facility (about 4x more space than we currently rent). Our team remains small, as we’ve had to use our saved up cash to always be funding the next round of manufacturing. We’re currently looking into investment opportunities that would allow us to expand the team while keeping cash reserves in place for ever larger manufacturing runs. If anyone is an accredited investor or representative of a VC firm, feel free to get in touch with me: email@example.com.