I found this nifty invention that I think all of you might be interested in. Farmbot is a farming tool that may change the way that you garden.
Farmbot Software Capabilities
This tool is an arm that uses open source software to determine seed placement, growth regimens, operation sequence building, and real-time control. As an open source software, any person can download the source files. But unless you know what parts to buy and how to use the source files, it might be easier to just buy the farmbot kit that Farmbot Inc. is selling.
So this software allows you to use drag and drop tools to determine the layout of your garden. The advantage of this is that you can plant which ever veggies you want, in whatever quantities you'd like (as long as it all fits in the 1.5 X 3 m plot).
With your personalized veggie layout, you can also program growth regimens that are specific to each seed. You can make sure that each plant gets the exact amount of water, sunlight, etc. necessary for optimal growth. You can also build your own sequences for the operations to occur in. The software gives you as much control over your garden as possible, without requiring you to actually do any work. If you need to change something, you have real-time control to go in and change it. You can suddenly decide that your plants need water, and make that happen.
The farmbot kit comes with the following tools: a seeder, weeder, water dispenser, soil sensor, seed bins, and seed trays. You can also choose to make your own tools to use. All of these tools are interchangeable and can be programmed for use.
The seeder dispenses seeds into your garden. The seed bins are for a large amout of one type of seed. These are for planting many plants of the same type. Seed trays have 16 small seed holding areas. These are for when planting many different types of seeds, and strictly controlling the number of seeds planted per hole.
The water dispenser is used to water your plants. And the weeder is used to remove weeds. The soil sensor measures the moisture content of your soil to keep your garden water efficient.
What tool do you think is missing?
How will you Farmbot?
This gardening tool is highly customizable and has many uses. Researchers can easily use farmbot to ensure a controlled environment for experiments. The hobby gardener can use farmbot to plant and grow his/her garden, producing veggies for him/herself to eat. A farmer can use farmbot to more efficiently farm, though that farmer likely needs a lot more than one 1.5 X 3 m kit. The crops grown should be of a high enough quality for commercial use.
These are just the highlights that I've picked out, but if you check out the website, you can learn a whole lot more and even purchase your own kit.