What is a Farmbot?

Middle School Farmbot Project

By Kavi Sugiharto Weber, Grade 7

Farmbot. Where to start? Farmbot Inc. was founded in 2016, by Rory Aronson, Rick Carlino, and Tim Evers and brought to Green School in the summer by Ibu Sophie Woo. I originally joined this class because it appealed to me most out of the projects offered during the Thematics unit we are studying, Life on Land. I don’t have much technical knowledge and wanted to join the project more on account of the manual labor aspect of things (like pulling weeds and carrying compost). I have enjoyed it immensely thus far. I am excited to see where the project goes, whether it works or not. I have a good feeling about it, though.

Farmbot aims to “Create an open and accessible technology aiding everyone to grow food and to grow food for everyone.” Even NASA is seeing if it will work to farm on other planets, pushing forward the colonization of The Moon and Mars!


But the question remains: will it work in Bali?

First impressions:

When I first saw our Farmbot, the treads were a bit off, and it wasn’t fully set up yet. The garden bed it was set up over was covered in weeds that grew up to about four feet. The whole area was a bit of a mess. Pulling the weeds out was insanely hard… maybe I’m over exaggerating a bit, but it was tough. Luckily, once we had finished that we could see how Farmbot would work once we get it up and running.


Roles:

There are many roles in this project. There are people like Gusde and Case who code the raspberry pi (a small computer used in many practical projects), do garden design, and just code in general. They’re also meant to get Farmbot up and running. I don’t understand most of the jargon, so you can ask them in person if you want the details. Then there are manual laborers (such as myself). We do the work that Farmbot can’t, like adding fertilizer. It’s tough, but rewarding.


Cyborg salad:

Our primary aim for the project is to create a “cyborg salad”, a salad consisting of produce that was created in part by humans and in part by Farmbot itself. We have a deadline set for November 23d, when Middle School is hosting the school assembly. But what exactly we’ll do is a surprise. Guess you’ll have to wait till then! In the meantime, please come and check out our work on Farmbot during our Thematics time on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons.

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