FarmBot for Hydro?

I’m most interested in hydroponics and in case anyone else is, I wanted to throw a few ideas about how that would work with the current hardware and what one might need to add.

So it would start with seeding - the same seeder could be used to put the seeds in the medium (rockwool ect) to germinate. Give it some water, again same watering tool. All this can be done in a germinating tray. Once the plant germinates it’s got to be transferred from a tray to some sort of hydroponics system. All the different types of systems essentially can be described as “a thing of some shape with holes in it”, so the question here is 1) whether the vacuum could pick up the rock wool cube without damaging the plant and 2) since the sprout would be coming out of the top and it would probably have to suction up the side, could it efficiently drop it in the right place - depends on the size of the hole I guess?

Alternatively I little grabby claw could be good. the plane that the grabbing action would work on I’m imaging would have to be at an L to Farmbot’s arm, as appose to the usual arcade-style claw machine where the claw dangles straight down. This kind of claw would be pretty simple I imagine and if it were strong enough it could also go under the plant after it’s grown to lift it out of the hydroponic system for “harvesting”, if it were something like head lettuce. Obviously if it were cut greens that wouldn’t work.

Thoughts? Comments?

I think all of that should work just fine. It would of course require testing, but there is no reason that I can see why FarmBot could not pick up (in some way) the rockwool cube with the seedling in it.

We’ve had lots of interest in people using FarmBot for this purpose. So if you decide to start experimenting you wouldn’t be alone in figuring it out!

the most grown and eaten food on earth is rice i believe and it needs two times sowing.
rice is labour intensive. Can we use it in rice fields,


@kesari.manish probably! I don’t know enough about how to grow rice to say with certainty, but I’m pretty sure FarmBot could be adapted to grow rice.

+1 I find the FarmBot relatively expensive and when you look at how environmentally friendly Hydro is. It would make more sense to use hydro in my opinion. So if there is at some point a Farmbot designed for Hydro, I’m interested!

@BerkshireBio did you end up making any progress on a hydro setup or testing the existing vacuum mount for seedling transport?

We are currently designing a hydroponic system in our school and love the idea of incorporating the automation that Farmbot allows for. I can see an simple application of seeding and top watering. In addition I would like to use it to take pH and EC readings of the reservoir and use it to make adjustments by drawing from nutrients and pH solutions. Is there anyway to use the suction of the seeder as a mechanism for drawing and pipetting liquid volumes?

I like the idea of the claw. I have thought about that kind of claw or grabber or gripper myself. I thought about it more in the context of harvesting, but the basic principle should be the same. It sounds like exactly the kind of thing the universal tool mount was designed for, and a gripper for harvesting or otherwise handling the plants seems like a very natural progression and evolution. There are plenty of gripper designs on e.g. Thingiverse, so it should just be a matter of combining the two. Someone just needs to get started on it… :slight_smile: