With the rapidly-growing population of the world, we need to incorporate more science and technology to improve the efficiency of farming as much as possible.

### Modern Farming

Precision farming applies techniques from various fields of engineering to increase crop yields, especially in large fields. Utilizing geographical information, precision farming optimizes different farming processes. Modern farming employs high-precision positioning systems, such as GPS, to drive the agricultural vehicles with an accuracy of 2cm within the field.

The concept of using autonomous robots in fields is an interesting idea which is increasingly attracting more attention. The 2016 AgBot Challenge is an example of an attempt to develop such unmanned seeding robots. Many sponsors such as Yamaha, AGCO, and John Deere have an eye on the outcome of challenges like this. Considering the 24/7 farming capability of these autonomous robots, we can obviously achieve a remarkable return out of these machines. In addition to autonomous seeding, other farming functions such as autonomous harvesting and removal of weeds and pests are also topics of interest.

### The First Open Source Farming Machine

The FarmBot Genesis went through 10 previous iterations before evolution into its present version. All of these versions and their improvements over the previous designs are available on the company’s website. This is one of the most important features of the FarmBot Genesis: the source of all its documents, both hardware and software, are available online.

The company actually pursues something more than an open-source product. Rory Aronson, founder of FarmBot, not only shares the source files but also discusses all the steps of manufacture as if he intends to give a tutorial on how to build FarmBot Genesis.

Being a do-it-yourself project, you can easily improve any part of this robot. The website actually lists several improvements for you to try such as adding lights or weather sensors.

In order to support a thriving global community which will dramatically change food production worldwide, Aronson shares assembly instructions, bill of materials, previous versions, troubleshooting, and more.

This attempt to make FarmBot accessible to the masses is perhaps the most impressive aspect of the device because it reveals Aronson’s admirable vision for this project.

• gophert 2016-08-14

Ha, this type of unsubstantiated hypothesis causes money and effort to be pushed into a non-existant “problem”.

“With the rapidly-growing population of the world, we need to incorporate more science and technology to improve the efficiency of farming as much as possible”

More than half of the worlds HARVEST goes to waste before it reaches a table. And, depending which country we’re talking about, 5 to 15% goes to waste after it reaches a table.

Also, as populations grow, the population will simply shift their tastes away from meat and more to grains and legumes. We’ll be fine without a bot. The no idea raises different concerns - what jobs will people do in the future?

• Steve Arar 2016-08-14

Thanks for the comment.
It’s a shame that we have been wasting so much food, but I think this does not make the above project a solution to a non-existant problem. This reasoning is similar to the idea that since we are wasting a large amount of food, we do not need to use fertilizers and other techniques to improve crop yields!
I think we need to take actions in both areas: producing food efficiently and not wasting it.

• AEKron 2016-08-15

If was going to do this I think I’d just use deep water culture for everything.

• jjustin 2016-08-26

“Modern farming employs high-precision positioning systems, such as GPS, to drive the agricultural vehicles with an accuracy of 2cm within the field.”

GPS with WAAS has an accuracy of 3 meters. So, you must be referring to some sort of buried wire type system.

• Steve Arar 2016-08-26

Thanks for the informing comment.
I was referring to http://cema-agri.org/page/precision-farming-key-technologies-concepts which is not apparently so reliable in terms of numbers.

• spuzzdawg 2016-09-07

WAAS is a satellite based augmentation system primarily intended for aviation. It’s intended to be used over a wide area and therefore doesn’t achieve great accuracy. There are other non-satellite based augmentation systems available that can achieve higher accuracy. DGPS, for example, can achieve accuracies of up to 15cm.