mdingena the core to a single shot paint ball gun is basically the same idea as the pole planter or disc planter.
This is the thing the same basic design does not matter if it a gun or planter or coffee dispensator is used over and over again because it fairly dependable. So yes it can be scaled down or up.
Onion coating can be done with a wide range of materials adding nutrients does not have to be chemicals as such. Onion coating is a variation on Seed balls. Layer coating of Onion coating gives some structural strength consistency that random constructed seed balls can be lacking. So you don’t just want to make any random type of seed ball when you are going to be mechanically handling you want a uniformed structural strength so you can have a machine that will not break them yet use so much force to move them.
Non uniformed shaped seeds turn them into some form of seed balls can be mandated to be able to use them in a mechanical planter.
There is are three issues with seed balls
- Seed balls shelf life is reduced due to the coating process increasing the moisture content of the seed. So seeds that fully dry could be frozen can only be put in fridge after been seed balled. Also the coating at times can break down if they get dried. So you don’t want more seed balls than you are wanting to use.
- Can have poor germination rates if they are incorrectly made compared to the raw seed itself.
- Cost they are most expensive.
Ideal would be a dependable system on site to make seed ball seeds on demand. Its not that we can avoid seed balls but we really don’t want large stocks of seed balls with home gardens. Home gardeners can take multi season to plant out a full seed packet. Seeds ball are basically you get/make them you plant them all.
The one thing about paint balls that is simple to forget they are all built to the same basic strength this is how you can have a rotating device that is gentle enough not to break them. If paint balls were/are random consistency you would have big trouble. Yes bad batches of paint balls have random consistency and make a huge mess of agitated style paint ball guns.
Having larger seeds by turning them into seed balls will not help a vacuum style injector the current design has. Why coating gives something to fracture off and jam into the vacuum injector so blocking the vacuum and making it not work and is more likely to fracture off than the shell of the seed that is current problem. The issue with coating is you cannot coat a seed too much or they will not grow. Same issue here with digging a seed in too deep when putting too thick of coating on. Something to remember longer seed is expose to vacuum the more likely a fragment is going to break off. So part of the issue with the current seeder is too much travel time so the seed is exposed to vacuum for too long so it going to get jammed up for sure by broken off seed shell forget anything else. So at a min on gantry seed holders would be worth attempting that would slow down clogging a bit. Excess travel time is bad for power usage and for items like seeds depending on handling method excess time is bad.
Also I don’t see a dibbler or trench tool in the current design use by farmbot. This is also part of basic action of a planter.
- make hole(dibbler or trenching tool)
- drop seed in hole
- cover hole.
Current design attempts to do all 3 in one step this is not done normally because it cause trouble. Even the basic hand held pole planter if you look how it works does make hole then drop seed as second steps and the person using does the third. There is a min number of steps to-do the job planting go less then them you will have trouble. The basics of a mechanical planter were worked out in the industrial revolution.
I highly like the idea of a farmbot just the current design still needs a lot of work in places. Lessons of general farming are not in the machine yet. I have covered fairly much all the basic theory of a planter. The hard part is design working versions. Its really simple to design failed designs.
I have planted some horible seeds like Buffel Grass. It a seed type that will jam almost every seed planter design known to man and it cannot be coated so I got to know planters way more than I wanted to.