So the only spot I can place the farmbot is on a fairly steep hill. I already have some terraced garden beds and was wondering how hard it might be to adapt. I figure that having a small section of the rails(just large enough to support the gantry) that can be raised or lowered on each terrace step might do it.
Not sure how difficult that would make the cabling. I am fairly comfortable with both hw and sw so I would be comfortable making fairly extensive modifications.
Any thoughts/ideas/cautionary tales?
I have a 6’x45’ terraced flower garden in front of our house, so I can understand what you are trying to do.
The issues I can see are:
The gantry is presently moved by teeth engaging in and pulling on a “toothed” continuous belt. you would need a different drive system (there ARE steel rails with teeth specifically designed for mounting on these extrusions. You would need to “double cut” each segment so that tooth spacing remains constant. Small as the saw kerf is, it will completely change the tooth spacing.)
Your cabling is going to be lot longer, and needs to be able to “corner” around the end of each section of railing. To do this. you need a smooth, round corner. However, for the gantry to move from one segment to the other, you need a flush, square corner. Not sure what you will do to solve that. A “cornering piece” that you position as part of the movement sequence? Where does it sit normally?
Once that is solved, you have to handle the cable run adjustment as you move from segment to segment. Going down is not an issue. Going up, on the other hand, is going to be like pushing a string.
There does not seem to be a lot of accommodation for misalignment of rail segments, so you would need some sort of “keying” system that brings the segments into exact alignment. The easiest one I can think of would be a tab on the moving segment that contacts the top segment, and a solid “landing pad” that must be kept clean of any contamination. the tab and landing pad just have to allow for the wheels to clear.
Another consideration in building your beds will be to have your soil level (in reference to the top of the rail) as close to constant as possible. I am not certain how many x-y coordinates have z calibration distances set.
It will certainly be an interesting challenge, and I would love to see pictures when you get it done. I might look into using a FarmBot to weed my flower garden!
Great conversation here! We haven’t experimented yet with FarmBot on a terrace, but there is no reason why it can’t be done. If you do go for this we’ll be excited to see your progress and also help you brainstorm and troubleshoot your setup.
As mentioned by @leon.kemp, FarmBot does require pretty consistently aligned tracks. Trying to do corners or other non-linear movements would be difficult if not impossible with the current design.