What if you could grow food in your backyard with little to no understanding of gardening? A new robotic system may make this a reality for everybody. Farmbot Genesis is an open source, autonomous farming system that is supposed to fit virtually anyone’s backyard, greenhouse or rooftop.
The makers of FarmBot Genesis say it’s as easy to set up as furniture from IKEA and controllable with most devices. All you need is an ability to follow directions, an active internet connection, a power source, and water.
Built with DIY in mind, all the parts are interchangeable and easy to find. You can even custom create parts via 3D printing. Advanced modification and scalability are encouraged. For example, you can mount lighting to FarmBot, and the built-in power source can be adjusted to support off-the-grid farming when minimal electricity is available.
Sensors make it possible to leverage real-time data about soil. Additionally a camera monitors plant health—when it detects weeds, it removes them autonomously. Offering a huge list of mods and add-ons—from rainwater collection to compost to resource management—there’s a lot of customization possible.
Besides the tech itself, the device incorporates weather and plant data online. Using OpenFarm, an open-source database for farming, a gardener can choose a growing guide for whatever crops they desire (and even create guides themselves). After selecting the growing guide and providing seeds, FarmBot does the rest.