FarmBot: Open­source precision farming

FarmBot is an open­source and scalable automated precision farming machine and software package designed from the ground up with today’s technologies. The world’s population is growing and is projected to surpass 9 billion inhabitants by 2050. As a result farms must increase production by about 60 percent to meet demand which is stunning since many believe we have reached the limits of traditional farming.

In comparison to desktop digital 3D printers and CNC machines FarmBot extends the idea of X, Y, and Z directions and applies it to plows, seed injectors, water and sensors in order to accurately and efficiently grow plants and soil. I think that I would like to try this out in my own backyard.

This hardware and software solution is also opensource — a free solution to grow food. A laptop, smartphone or tablet can drive a fully automated web process from planting to harvesting. The software permits a farmer to drag and drop their crops while a Raspberry Pi and Audrino control the hardware and water supply.

This solution becomes a very efficient implementation of growing food as we move forward. The following is a sample of intrinsic advantages that make it a smart solution compared to conventional methods:
Ability to plant polycrops in a machine efficient manner
Ability to optimize operations such as watering, spraying, and seed spacing
Full automation and 24/7 possible operation
Virtually unlimited farm design possibilities
Incorporates “Big Data” acquisition and analysis for data­driven decision making and “Smart Farming”
Ability to plant in the most space efficient layouts
Scalable from a backyard system to an industrial operation
Allows for the democratization and decentralization of food production
Free and open­source, fully documented, hackable, and accessible

FarmBot’s vision is to inspire an open and accessible technology aiding anyone to grow food. The mission is to grow a community that produces free and open­source hardware plans, software, data, and documentation enabling everyone to build and operate a farming machine.

FarmBot feeds: FaceBook, Twitter & Google+

What say you?