FarmBot [Part 1] Assembling a gardening robot to do your work!
Hi Gardeners! My name is Marvin Rieger and I am a German student finishing my sustainable engineering studies. My passion for planet earth led me to Alella GreenTech in Spain, a place created by Martin Picard to educate the next generation in modern technology and bring them closer to a lifestyle with nature once again. There is a lot to discover on the property and there are events for children and adults!
Few weeks ago I started a project to assemble the Farmbot Genesis XL v1.5. I am excited to share my journey with you and I hope the Farmbot will grow tasty veggies with less effort.
The Farmbot is an 100% open-source product and it has a great community with a very helpful forum.
The Farmbot will operate on a raised bed built out of stone which is around 16m2 (2,70m x 5,80m) big. The tracks were already fixed to the bed before I started assembling the rest of it. With the help of the detailed Farmbot documentation I started to put piece after piece together, beginning with the x-axis motors and belts.
The main structure is complete and the gantry can move over the tracks. It is time to assemble the heart of the Farmbot, the z-axis with the universal tool mount and camera to do your garden work! At least when you look from the mechanical site…
After mounting the z-axis to the gantry, all the cables had to be put into the right place. The labelling was a bit challenging and it took me some time to sort and understand them all. I did some additional labelling so I will not get confused when I start wiring all the electronics. The included cable carriers are easy to use and after laying all cables into them, the mounting is done fast.
Great! We are getting close to the end! Let us move away from the raised bed and the Farmbot for a bit. What would a robot be without tools, right? Version 1.5 is the last one where you must assemble the tools yourself. You can see them in the picture below and from left to right you can see the water nozzle, the soil sensor, the seeder and the adjustable weeder.
Unfortunately, there was a mistake in packaging and we got the wrong luer adapter for the seeder which normally holds the needle. After contacting the friendly and helpful support they shipped us the right one.
The last 2 parts, the solenoid valve which regulates the water and the LED strip to light up your Farmbot, are put into place.
It is time to do the wiring! As soon as I wanted to mount the electronics box I realised that I needed to turn the whole gantry around, because the electronics box should be on the easily accessible site, after all it is for an educational purpose. Now, all the cables have to go into the box and be connected to the farmdruino. The documentation makes it easy and the circuit board is labelled very well.
We did it! The Farmbot construction is completed.
Time to connect the water hose and energy supply. In addition, the tool bays must find a spot and be fixed to the raised bed. The idea is to cover up most of the cables and water tubes to protect them from natural enemies like UV-light in the long run.
The power supply will be put into an electronics box at the side of the raised bed. Moreover. the water supply is just underneath it and with a few simple pipes it can be covered up. The water tube and the supply cable are going through the wall and are coming up to the cable carrier from the inner side of the raised bed. Next to the power supply box is another box which has a breaker and a control light to power up the Farmbot.
Stay tuned! I am excited to set up the web app and internet connection to see the Farmbot working!