Seed Injector Improvement


Check this out. It’s a similar auger concept for feeding fish. Arduino powered. They’re going to post the .stl files at some point. We could print at least the auger and design the rest of the tool around the auger and the tool blank. There would need to be a small stepper motor integrated into the tool for the auger.

As far as seed size for a start, I’m not versed in seed sizes.


Rather than a stepper, it might be cheaper/easier to use a continual rotation servo?




I was playing with some ideas.

One was that of vibrations to move and align the seed.

Two how big is the UTM.

The round seeds are 4mm in diameter. The servo is from sparkfun. Model 9065. The UTM can handle larger servos. This was one I grabbed for referencing.


Wish I could do some modeling. I got the mesh for the tool base but it’s unworkable. It looks like something that is used to 3D print rather than edit. It does not look as ‘clean’ as in your picture.

I suppose I could assist with drawing but I think we all share similar ideas now on how to improve the seeder


This was done using Blender. One blender unit =1mm. If the meshes were not transparent you would see the lines. So my thoughts after drawing this.

  1. vibration may work well to position and align the seed.

  1. Making it adjustable to handle different size of seed. One thought I had was an adjustable rail that the seeds travels down from the hopper to the injector.

  2. adding an ir or optical sensor to verify the seed drops into the dirt.

I am sorry to have to partly rain on the idea of auger for seed handling. Depending on how strong the seed is the result of using a auger will be reduction to germination rate by a percentage. Auger has to be fairly smooth so solvent smoothed from home 3d printing not just 3d printed and used. Loss could be from 1 percent germination to 100 percent depending on the seed. Key objective with seeds is be as gentle as you can be. Augers require a lot of care to be gentle.


Yes vibration is used to in some seeders to align seeds into 1 by 1 rows and does work no detectable effect on germination rates. Notice the rotation cup in this one that takes 1 seed. This one take major differences in seed size.

By the way round seed counters was first invented as bead counters until one day someone dropped seed in them and it worked.

Most things you can think of in seeders has been done by different groups. Most come back to the same basic core idea hole of some for to set size volume of seed to drop. At the top of a bead/seed counter is a shelf just wide enough for the seed/bead if it too wide it falls back into the hopper that is how they are adjustable. Again its a fixed size hole solution with different transport system. Some was this can be less damaging.

Key thing with the vibration is keep it gentle. Also do remember vibration + bolts can equal undone bolts so how ever you do adjustment has to be tolerant to this some of the cheap bead/seed counters you run into the issue where adjustment ends up locked because adjustment system is not designed well enough.

Josh as soon as you go away from the fix size hole complexity goes up massively. Seeds do stick to each other at times. Add in some vibration and complexity goes up more. Not that I am saying not attempt this just be aware issues and you should be able to make something that works successfully. Using vibration and forgetting to make every bolt holding in the design lockable is a common one.

Yes 3d printed will most likely have to go through smoothing process or the ridges of the 3d printing will give places for the seeds to bind.


The shaft idea good. I am still trying to figure out how I was going to grab one seed at a time. My first thought was some type of soft finger. It could be a soft brush. When the vibration happens one seed would then be allowed to drop into the rotation shaft or drop trigger. The vibration motors I am looking at are very small. There the pager vibration motors. Similar to cell phone vibrators. I am sure the vibration can be controlled using PWM. It may be where the vibration is something that can be trimmed by the end user. I was thinking this would be great for Radishes. As you plant many at once in very close proximity and they have a short growth cycle. So one thing I was thinking is the tool heads could have there own micro to control the functions of the tool head. It would only require a trigger from the main controller to cycle the tool. And maybe a signal back to state that its process was finished. So lets say the seed head activates but does not push a seed. It could then run again confirming the seed is deposited. Then trigger the Farmbot to move to the next location. I still need to look at covering the seed. Maybe the auger idea could be used to drill the hole and store the soil to be deposited once the seed is placed of course.


Re-Igniting this thread - I want to have automated seeding functioning by the next planting season

After some thought, I am going to try a couple of things to try to get seeding down to a reliable art form:

I will try my hand at creating a “Shroud Attachment Tool” (for the Seeder Tool) and/or a “Hole-Maker Tool”.
The challenge, as I see it, is how to pick up seeds with a shroud tool/attachment in place. (and my complete lack of experience creating 3D models)

My thought on flow would be:

  1. Get Seeder Tool
  2. Pick up seed
  3. Get “Shroud Attachment Tool” (would have to have mechanism (magnetic?) to attach to Seeder Tool)
  4. Plant seed (singular)
    a) Shroud would dig hole
    b) Seeder would release seed (turn off vacuum) when the tool is at the correct Z-Depth
  5. Return “Shroud Attachment Tool”
  6. Rinse-lather-repeat
    This option would take a bit of time, to complete a seeding sequence, but since it is a one-time event, the FB has the latitude

Another idea would be to craft a “Hole-Maker Tool”
I am thinking a conical tool (much like the Seed Bin) that “pre-digs” holes so the lure-lock needle never touches dirt/earth

  1. Get “Hole-Maker Tool”
  2. Make holes (repeat until all holes are made)
  3. Return “Hole-Maker Tool”
  4. Get “Seeder Tool”
  5. Get Seed
  6. Plant Seed
  7. Repeat until all seeds are planted

Just my off-the-top-of-my-head thoughts…
What are your thoughts?


Sounds good and the second one most feasable, I think @Intelbotfarmer

This is actually what I am doing manually at the moment because it takes forever being automatic…



I wonder if the needle approach is the right one.

A machine like this could be dismantled to create 5x seeder heads.

A small motor to drive the shaft rotation



Didn’t thoroughly read the posts before, sorry. But maybe this Seeder could be of inspiration, if Salk Institute and the developers share some info about their invetion