April 19th, 2018
The future of food production rests with robots. They are efficient, compact and won’t take any sick days. Recently, AFN Solutions Dev team has been working on bringing the idea of robotic farming to fruition.
The result of this vision is the FarmBot; an automated robotic farm, with the capability of planting, managing, and caring for an entire vegetable garden all on its own as you can see in the video below, where our FarmBot is planting capsicum seeds in an AFN garden:
This is achieved by using a robot on a gantry system that runs along tracks, with a collection of interchangeable heads that are used to tend to the farm. These include a watering nozzle, a weeder, a soil moisture sensor and more.
The FarmBot is run by an interactive software platform that uses a series of procedures to maximize the efficiency of the farm, combined with an intuitive and ergonomic farm planning program.
The FarmBot comes in two customizable sizes – 3×1.5 metres and 6×3 metres, meaning it can be built inside, outside, on a balcony or on a commercial scale. It also has the capacity to grow up to 36 different kinds of plants currently, with that number increasing with every new update, resulting in a versatile and efficient farming solution that can be built in many different environments; from a small backyard vegetable garden, to future expansion into commercial agriculture.
The precision and efficiency of the FarmBot is one of its main advantages over traditional farming methods. The software has precise knowledge of exactly how much space, water, and time each plant needs to thrive means that no space in the garden bed is wasted, creating a maximum vegetable yield per square metre.
Due to the ease of use of the FarmBot and its ability to produce large quantities of crops even with minimal resources, AFN Solutions plans to implement the robot in remote communities in the Australian outback where fresh food is hard to come by.
AFN also plans to implement the FarmBot in various schools to teach school children about robotics and agriculture as well as implementing technology in our future. This will allow schools to reference FarmBot across a wide range of the student curriculum from sciences and technologies, to societies and humanities.
So, will we see farms shutting down and robots taking over soon?
Well, not quite – the FarmBot is still early in its developmental journey – but at AFN Solutions, the team is always looking for the next leap ahead for our communities.