Rory Landon Aronson, a California-based engineer seems to be spearheading a reliable solution for the farming industry. Aronson’s machine, Farmbot 3D printer will be useful in increasing and keeping up with the level of productivity in different parts of the world. The ever-growing population that will certainly be tough to feed in the near future stimulates Aronson’s invention.
The Farmbot farming machine, designed from a 3D printer is a viable solution 3D lovers should exploit. It will possibly feature already existing technologies in the 3D printing industry.
The idea to develop this revolutionary device first came to Aronson in 2011 while studying about a new tractor that could destroy weeds selectively and leave other plants in place. This invention convinced him to design a system that would aid everyone to grow food using open-source hardware and software plans.
Fair enough, the Farmbot resembles the Cartesian 3D printers and CNC milling machines. According to Aronson’s white paper, the printer is an open-source farming machine with scalable frames. The scalable frames work using the X,Y,Z directions similar to other 3D printers. What makes this 3D printer unique is the possibility to outfit it with sensors and other necessary devices required to optimize farming input. Such may include water nozzles, injectors and ploughs.
The FarmBot tool head, if positioned precisely well using an Ardino and Raspberry, could aid farmers in handling several operations. It could be useful during soil preparation, seeding, fertilizing, watering, data acquisition and weed control. The printer can be modified to accommodate different types of vegetables, farm sizes or methods.
Users will operate the printer using a web-based, simple and scalable yet hackable software package. The software is expected to cover and provide meaningful solutions on food production techniques. It will also minimize the costs and maximize the proficiency required during actual planting. The user-friendly characteristics of the software also allow the user to selectively water and gravest their farming produce.
The capabilities of the Farmbot 3D printer make it a superior invention as compared to conventional methods and technologies used in farming. It can optimize normal farming operations such as seed spacing, watering and spraying of farm produce. Farmbot’s ability to plant polycrops in the most efficient manner is an added advantage for such an automated machine.
Users do not have to worry over the possible farm designs to experiment since the printer virtually provides unlimited options. Its capability to incorporate big data boosts the possibility of users making the right farming decisions. Nevertheless, the printer will provide its users with an opportunity to scale their farming projects from backyard systems to highly lucrative industrial operations.
The inception of Aronson’s idea has been slow until in 2014. The project is currently taking shape with the construction of appropriate hardware and software. Aronson’s idea seems to have worked as a great kickstarter for developing an OpenFarm device capable of analyzing relevant practical data useful for farming.
Farmbot is independently aiming at a crowd funding campaign come 2015. If well implemented, this unique application of 3D printing technology could be a practical solution to most problems affecting humanity.