What’s new in Farmbot XL V1.5 ?
Hey @Herve, great question
We haven’t officially announced what will be new/different in the Genesis v1.5 kits, and that’s because we will not know exactly what will make it in until we are close to shipping later this year.
What I can say though is that v1.5 will likely be an improvement over v1.4 in many small ways. We’ll likely have slightly improved electronics, more secure and consistent packaging design, and some changes to some of the hardware that will make assembly easier and faster.
It is also possible we’ll include a new tool or two, though I can’t make any promises because it is just too early still in our development cycle.
Hi @roryaronson! Are you any closer to being able to shed light on what might be different v1.4 versus v1.5? I’m about to purchase a v1.4 kit but want to understand what the upgrade path might be… or should I pre-order a 1.5? If you can shed some light it will help me to make the decision. Thanks!
Yep! Here’s some details on Genesis and Genesis XL v1.5:
Most of our hardware R&D effort has gone into the new Express bots over the last 6-8 months, and we’re going to be carrying over a lot of new features from Express into the Genesis line, though there are a few things in store that keep Genesis a few steps ahead of Express in terms of capabilities.
- Modularized cables and tubing at Y/Z interface. Up until now, all of the stuff going to the Z-axis (UTM cable, camera cable, water tube, z motor and encoder cables, vacuum pump cable) was one continuous cable/tube going through both the Y-axis and Z-axis cable carriers. This made assembly somewhat difficult, and more permanently “tied” the Z-axis/Cross-Slide to the Gantry once everything was fed through and connected, which makes disassembly laborious. Our new modularized cables/tubing have 90-degree connections between the Y and Z axis cable carriers, so you can disconnect everything at this point for easy disassembly, and assembly is more modular and less cumbersome.
- Genesis bots will come with the new gantry-mounted seed containers, which we’re calling seed troughs, and the seed trough holster. This allows for faster seeding sequences because the bot can just move along the y-axis to grab a new seed, instead of all the way back on the x-axis as well.
- Genesis bots are getting an all-new Farmduino that will feature integrated Trinamic TMC2130 stepper drivers. These drivers offer quieter, more powerful, and smoother operation, and they’re just overall higher quality. Because they’ll be integrated into the main board, heat dissipation should be a little better as well, and as always we’ll factory test them to make sure everything is working before sending out. These drivers also have several software-controllable parameters, which will be exposed for tuning in the web app, including motor current (no more using a voltmeter and potentiometer screw to make this adjustment!) and microstepping options. These drivers also have built-in load and stall detection capabilities, which will be used in addition to the closed-loop control offered by the encoders. I want to stress too how quiet the FarmBot is with these drivers. You can be standing right next to the FarmBot, and if your back is turned and there’s really any amount of ambient noise at all, you probably won’t even hear the FarmBot moving. It’s almost creepy how quiet it is, ha!
- The new Farmduino also features analog load detection circuitry on all of the powered peripherals (Water, Vacuum, Lighting, Peripheral 4 and 5). This will allow for the detection of hardware malfunction, and we’re hoping (not tested yet) the ability to detect if a seed is picked up or not by the seed injector needle!
- Genesis v1.5 bots will come more pre-assembled than previous versions so that you can get set up and running faster. We’re planning on still pre-assembling the whole electronics box and the UTM, and in addition we’ll pre-assemble all of the tools (seeder, weeder, watering nozzle, soil sensor, and possibly some other subassemblies.
- Genesis v1.5 will have a narrower X-axis cable carrier which will make movements along that axis require less force, which should marginally boost reliability and/or max achievable speeds.
- Easier-to-use/adjust belt clips.
- Expect packaging improvements that will ensure even more safety in transit, and a smoother unboxing experience.
All the improvements above are pretty certain. There are still a few unknowns in there that could derail us, but I’d say you can count on those things in v1.5. Then we have two more things that we’re hoping to make it in:
- New soil sensor PCB that measures both soil moisture and soil temperature. We’re very early in the development of this though and its not certain it will make it in to the v1.5 kits. If it doesn’t though, that will be a low-cost and easy upgrade (for all Genesis kits 1.2+).
- A new ultrasonic distance sensor that could be used to measure soil height and plant height. We’re very early in the development of this as well, but again that would be a low-cost add-on you could buy after the fact no matter which Genesis bot you got.
I bet there are a few other things I’m missing, but that’s the major stuff!
In terms of offering you advice on which kit to order, I would personally pre-order a v1.5 kit unless you really want to get set up right away. The new electronics and easier to assemble modularized cabling alone I think is worth the wait.
If we have an existing FB Genesis 1.4 XL kit, what is our upgrade path?
Can we swap out any components (Farmduino) w/o any or much modification?
In light of all our efforts to get our FB running like a well-oiled machine, anything we can do that may add some additional control-ability and monitoring would be most welcome!
No matter the answer - Great Job, FarmBot Crew!
The new Farmduino should be a drop-in upgrade that won’t require any other parts or changes (other than selecting new firmware in the web app). It will still run on 24 volts and have all the same connectors as the one with v1.4 kits.
Cables will also be drop-in replaceable, though unless you constantly disassemble/re-assemble your bot (like for a school project) then they wouldn’t be worth getting.
And the new tools (if they make it in) and the gantry-mounted seed troughs will be inexpensive upgrades that will work with all Genesis kits we’ve ever shipped (v1.2+)
Hey Rory, do you have a guesstimate on when 1.5 will be released?
Thansk @roryaronson for the detailed answer. I’m in the UK and have missed the growing season this year anyway so will wait a couple of months for 1.5 so I can hit the ground running for spring next year! Thanks.
We’re manufacturing Express v1.0 kits at the same time as Genesis v1.5, which we’re hoping to have in everyone’s hands by the end of the year.
Thanks Rory I’ll definitely be getting the new Farmduino. I imagine most existing Farmbot owners would benefit from purchasing that :).
Great!!! This was my biggest worry. Thanks everybody involved for solving this.