What is Farmbot?
The Farmbot is a robot controlled through a computer or webapp that can be programmed to operate on an x/y/z axis to plant, water, and weed plants in a garden. It has been successfully used in many educational settings.
How did we get started?
There are a number of groups working independently right now aimed at similar goals of increasing understanding about gardens, growing, food supplies, and agriculture. Alyssa Wharton, the Digital Makerspace (DMS) Coordinator at Randall Library, kicked off the idea for us here to start working on a project to bring the Farmbot to Wilmington. Having a Farmbot would enable groups to increase interest in the idea of gardening and raising plants in a number of ways. Through gamification students would learn the best way to place plants and discover the needs of plants and how to observe and check on those needs. Additionally the Farmbot would give us the opportunity to teach additional skills such as robotics and computer programming. The library is interested in this project for a number of reasons. One of those reasons is the capability this would give the library to display to students what UNCW Randall library does in terms of creating a space for discovery and learning. One aspect of the Farmbot idea is implementing and maintaining, but another is that of tool creation and new software processes implementation.
Where are we now?
CStem purchased a Farmbot Gensis XL for DCVirgo and the DMS in cooperation with CStem has assembled the raised bed and built the farmbot on site at DC Virgo, and we are currently in the fine tuning and configuration stage. Because this is a K-9 NHCS public school there is no ready access to visit and observe this device. Please contact us at the DMS if you would like to know more