Eat healthy from your own garden, thanks to an automated machine

he future of farming is getting brighter. Historically, only big companies could automate their farms, at the expense of using expensive machinery worth millions. But now, because of innovation and a close knit community, the future of farming is getting brighter and closer to your own backyard.

What is Farmbot?
Farmbot is an automated agricultural machine that can be easily used by anyone to create and edit their own ‘smart’ farm with an app. Farmbot uses hardware that can move with millimeter precision to plant seeds, water those seeds, measure the moisture content of the soil and to destroy weeds. Farmbot also uses a camera to detect those weeds and to measure the health of the farm.

Farmbots’ audience
Farmbot can be used for research, commercial and personal use. With the measurements of 1,5m X 3m, Farmbot can also easily be used inside, outside or on the rooftop. Another option is to place the Farmbot completely Off-Grid with a small solar panel and a rain collection system.

Although Farmbot is on the expensive side (pre-ordering costs €3500), it has been calculated that the return on investments is between three to five years. This because one Farmbot can grow the vegetables continuously for one person's need. The through Farmbot grown vegetables are also cheaper than store bought vegetables.

Farmbot web application
People can easily use their own Farmbot through their computer, tablet or phone, because of the web application. This app makes designing your farm look like an easy and fun game. Farmbot is also Open-Source, which makes it possible for the more advanced ‘hackers’ to ‘hack’ the Farmbot and adapt it to their own needs.

Besides sharing code, Farmbot also shares their hardware designs and how people can create the needed parts themselves. For example, they share on their website which parts can easily be recreated with a 3D printer and how other parts can be created using a laser cutter. Still having trouble setting up? Farmbot has their own community where clear steps on building Farmbot has been placed, including what other customers struggled with. This close knit community has been involved from the start with designing and testing Farmbot.

The Future
The first batch of Farmbots will start delivering from february 2017. With a first crowdfunding round of more than one million dollars (and growing), Farmbot has the means to keep developing its service and become bigger. We, at IoT Academy, are excited to see how a Farmbot in the backyard can evolve the agriculture industry.

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