Farmbot for School project

Hi everybody,

My name is Tessa van Zanten and I study in the Netherlands at Avans University of applied science. We are currently working on an assignment about the farmbot with a study group. We are trying to make the Farmbot known among a wider audience. Because we live in the Netherlands, it takes quite a long time to order and receive parts of the farmbot if they are worn out due to weather conditions, for example.

We thought that it might be possible to set up a website for people in the EU where people can sell parts themselves, maybe there are people who can 3D print and sell parts, or a service to assemble the robot for a fee.

Our ideal would be that the farmbot could be deployed in neighborhoods where people have less money. With the farmbot they could be more self-sufficient in this way. That fruit,vegetables and herbs are available to everyone and that people are brought together thanks to the farm bot.

Our question to you is whether you have any feedback for our ideas. Do you see a future in these plans?

Thank you in advance!


Is the postage really that bad? Do your Farmbot parts really wear out that often? Is there a big enough potiental market there? I’m just not sure there is a problem for you to solve.

However if you were going to do this…

The Farmbot hardware while completely open source is complex and there are a fair amount of parts. These incl nuts, bolts, wiring, steppers, linear rail, magnets, timing belts, specialized PCB aka Farmduino, wheels, etc. And then there’s also parts you can 3D print including the parts sold as aluminum plates.

The hardest part to make is the Farmduino and wiring. You could substitute a RAMPs board however the Farmduino and associated wiring is much better IMO.

So the easiest way to source local hardware off the top of my head is:

  • find an OpenBuilds or CNC maker shop in your area for all the nuts, bolts linear rail, wheels, timing belts type stuff
  • there are many websites avaliable to locally source 3D printed parts so why not use one of those
  • nema 17 motors with encoders are quite specialized you will need to do your research on that to see if theres a local reseller
  • find a local magnet store

Farmduino and wiring would be difficult to source locally at a reasonable price.

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First of all, thank you so much for your response. I myself am not very familiar with the robot, I try to do as much research as possible at the moment. I work with someone who was going to work with the farmbot on an internship, but covid 19 forced him to work from home. Instead of being able to build the robot and continue to work with it, this has changed into making a digital twin for the robot in unity.

Now we get a client from school every 2 weeks. They have asked us a question that we need to investigate and come up with a possible concept to solve it.

They have told us that they do not find the farm bot reliable enough to say that they can now place it in a community center (so that people with a lower income can get their vegetables and herbs from there). What is your opinion on this?

They said that their farm bot occasionally crashes because it uses too much electricity and that the security switches the bot off. Furthermore, they were not very clear about the wear and tear. they told us weather conditions affected it.

The person who had already worked with the farm bot before his internship found this very strange because in the six months that he has worked with it, he has never heard or encountered such a thing.

With this information i think we will focuss more on the target audience and see who is willing to get involved with the farmbot project for people with low income.

Thank you for this information!

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Ok that makes sense. I can’t answer your question because I have never tested a Farmbot in the situation you describe. I just think you have found an important problem to solve i.e. why didnt they like it, think of it as a gold nugget, if you want to achieve your goal, which is a positive one.

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