Author Topic: Farmbot  (Read 14200 times)

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Offline vresiberba

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Farmbot
« on: December 05, 2016, 01:47:24 am »
Please, pleeeease Dave, do a debunking video on this bullshit. These lofty claims are just laughable;

Quote
Sustainability
FarmBot grown veggies create 25% fewer CO2 emissions than standard US veggies. Take FarmBot off-grid and it gets even better.

Quote
Cost
FarmBot grown veggies are significantly less expensive than veggies purchased at the grocery store. The return on your investment is estimated to be between three and five years.

This is solar roadways stupid

https://farmbot.io/
 

Offline evb149

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Re: Farmbot
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2016, 04:30:43 am »
I did not study the materials fully but I don't at the moment see why it is not possibly true.  One must just carefully assess the claims.
"FarmBot grown veggies create 25% fewer CO2 emissions than standard US veggies."
This may or may not be true depending on what the compared scenarios are but consider that it could be true due to certain factors:
* Industrial agriculture uses a lot of inputs of energy / non-sustainably sourced materials that have high CO2 impacts.  Much fertilizer, herbicides, pesticides are often used.  The farming machinery and that used for crop processing, transportation, et. al. typically use non sustainable diesel fuels.  There is a lot of waste in terms of crops that are "rejected" for blemishes / damage before or after they appear in the grocery store.  The time they spend before and while in the grocery store they are subjected to heating / refrigeration cooling, air conditioning for humidity, lighting, energy for sorting / inspection / labeling.
And also a significant cost per item of produce is simply the transportation of the crops from the field to the processing center to the regional distributor to the grocery store.  And least efficient still typically the transportation of a few bags of groceries from the store to a house often in an inefficient personal vehicle that carries only a couple kg of produce per trip with sometimes 30-60 minutes driving time to and from the store not uncommon in congested cities at peak commute times when many visit the stores.
Then when you have the groceries at home you may refrigerate them using more energy, wash them using much more water per item of produce.

The difference is if you grow it in a personal garden maybe there will be:
* zero or less fertilizer / herbicide / pesticide due to not using such practices
* zero transportation costs of the produce, nor processing and storage and labeling and such commercial costs.
* zero possible "storage" costs of refrigeration etc. if they are picked fresh from the field as needed and not stored before consumption.
* less use of wash water and such since it will not be done by a processing stage and also at home, and one may have more trust of the lack of contamination of personally grown food so one may decide to wash less than something that may be from unknown sources that have been contaminated by unknown sources during processing / handling / etc.

"FarmBot grown veggies are significantly less expensive than veggies purchased at the grocery store. The return on your investment is estimated to be between three and five years"

* This could also be true.  For instance I know well that the costs of almost every item of produce at the stores I have visited is very much higher than the "wholesale" price I could buy the same produce for if I shopped at a wholesaler / distributor or bought from the farmer directly rather than from a grocery store.  When I buy from a discount store or in bulk the prices are "significantly less" than what the store charges, even when "on sale" at the store.  Obviously the store and the distributor and processor and farmer all make "significant" profits as do the pickers, washers, stockers, inspectors, et. al. through several layers of middle-men.  What is the cost when someone picks an apple from their personal tree?  Maybe not nothing since they may spend a bit of money for watering and care and so on but overall surely the cost of personally grown food that is "low maintenance" must be attractive to that of retail purchased food, even if the retail purchased food is grown more efficiently (kilograms harvest per acre or whatever).  If you have the space for a permacultural / personal garden then there is a lost "cost" in NOT using the resource productively and similarly there would almost always be an obvious benefit in quality, freshness, and expenditure of money for using the resources that one gets "for free" except for air, sunshine, and maybe nothing but natural soil / water.

So even though having a 200 square foot organic permacultural garden is not possible for everyone and even though high density industrial agriculture may be able to produce "more" (though maybe not sustainably and not ecologically / economically / permaculturally beneficially), what you grow yourself by any good means will typically be fresher, less costly, higher quality, and still enough for your own personal needs in many cases even with only modest care.  Do you need a robot?  Of course not, people have been growing their own food in small scales for tens of thousands of years.  But just like using automatic drip irrigation or other such tools to increase efficiency and automation it is certainly not necessarily a bad / useless thing to have mechanical aids to help the process be done with more economy, efficiency, and optimized methodology.  In such cases robots only replace what farmers / gardeners may do manually through their experience and effort and research. 

So what is so incredible to you that growing one's own food should be less efficient than not doing so, particularly when not doing so often means that a useless crop of "grass" or ornamental flowers is instead grown in the same space that could otherwise be producing food?  I would rather have an apple, avocado, persimmon, pear, or nut tree than some other kind of artificially placed landscaped tree that would not bear edible fruit.  I would rather have tomato plants to eat rather than grass that requires as much maintenance for even less benefit.

It is like solar or wind energy.  On a small personal scale one may not produce enough for one's own need.  But anything one does produce is certainly an asset as long as it is done in an environmentally sustainable way.  Anything one does not produce but could have is certainly wasted opportunity if one will otherwise be planting the same area for less productive and no more environmentally suitable means.


 

Offline vodka

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Re: Farmbot
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2016, 05:54:50 am »


The difference is if you grow it in a personal garden maybe there will be:
* zero or less fertilizer / herbicide / pesticide due to not using such practices
* zero transportation costs of the produce, nor processing and storage and labeling and such commercial costs.
* zero possible "storage" costs of refrigeration etc. if they are picked fresh from the field as needed and not stored before consumption.
* less use of wash water and such since it will not be done by a processing stage and also at home, and one may have more trust of the lack of contamination of personally grown food so one may decide to wash less than something that may be from unknown sources that have been contaminated by unknown sources during processing / handling / etc.


The fertilizier depend of terrain if you have a clay soil and few deep  you have to put fertilizier .

More than use herbicide, you have to use fungicide and pesticide if you want to harvest something. Like you don't sulphate the trees and cultives ,the bugs are as The Huns , where they pass the grass don't grow. I say it by experience this year i have to cut half peach tree(big) by the aphids.

"Storage zero". If you harvest onions and apples and it  doesn't damage by branches,falls and bug  lasts  several moths out the fridge.  But if you harvest tomatoes, figs, peaches etc like you don't put on fridge ,it rots .Because it matures  suddenly on the plant, of course you can't eat 3 kg of fruit on the same day.(When there were many production  i went out by the ears :P ).


 

Offline Luminax

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Re: Farmbot
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2016, 06:10:47 am »
If you look closely at the claim, they either accidentally worded it wrong, deliberately worded it wrong, or I might just be picking up lints :

Quote
FarmBot grown veggies create 25% fewer CO2 emissions than standard US veggies. Take FarmBot off-grid and it gets even better.

The insinuation is that the Veggies produce 25% less CO2 Emissions.
And I don't really want to go into the whole Carbon Footprint intangible maze of madness but,
Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't plant supposed to CONSUME CO2 to produce OXYGEN?  :-//
Again, I'm picking lints here but how do you even MEASURE Carbon footprint without some sort of elaborate setups to take into account ALL or at least MOST of the contributing factor in the two cases mentioned (Farmbot vs US standard grown Veggies, which, again, differs from place to place by a stretch of a long beach).

Lints... lints... lints everywhere  :scared:
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Offline vresiberba

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Re: Farmbot
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2016, 06:26:55 am »
"FarmBot grown veggies are significantly less expensive than veggies purchased at the grocery store. The return on your investment is estimated to be between three and five years"

* This could also be true.
Of course it's true, mostly because a tomato seed is always cheaper to buy than a tomato. But in my opinion it's intellectually dishonest to compare store bought veggies to Farmbot veggies when it comes to saving money, unless the bot instead of planting and watering walks to the store and simply buy it for you, in which case you'll see pretty quickly that it would not save you a dime. Ever. Such a bot would cost, well, lots. The bot should instead, naturally, be compared to hand sown and watered farming, which we yet again arrive at the same conclusion; you'll save nothing. Four thousand dollars for a 45 square feet (4 sq meters (Source -> Max growing area: Approximately 2.9m x 1.4m)) veggie patch is, you know, ridiculously expensive. And this is without constant mechanical maintenance and electrical consumption.

As a showcase or as a hobby project, fine, people are free to do what ever they want. But this thing is marketed as a thing that will save you money and save the environment, and as such, it's complete bullshit. I wouldn't go as far as to call it a scam, but it's not far off.
 

Offline Jeroen3

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Re: Farmbot
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2016, 06:35:23 am »
Those will be very expensive veggies.

Concept is good, especially for research when you want the same conditions for each plant. But not for you home garden, unless it's your hobby. Which isn't required to be profitable.
 

Offline Luminax

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Re: Farmbot
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2016, 07:51:08 am »
I actually have another angle of take on this.
It's what a few hobbyist who also happened to be a gamer came up as a 'real world counterpart' of Harvest Moon or,
to be closely approximated, FarmVille...

ey, click me some tomatoes willya?
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Offline rob77

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Re: Farmbot
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2016, 08:06:30 am »
i'm not a big gardener, but this farmbot doesn't seem right to me ;)

1. those veggies will be extremely expensive
2. if gardening is your hobby you don't need the farmbot
3. apparently the author was not gardening too much.

let's break it down a bit:
what can it do ?
1. place seeds
2. watering the plants from above
3. measure soil humidity
4. push weeds under soil

placing seeds is few seconds per plant out of the several months of the grow cycle - so automating it makes absolutely no sense
automated watering (including monitoring humidity) can be done efficiently and much cheaper (while covering much bigger area)
poking the weeds under the soil is pointless

what it should do and it can't ?
1. loosen the soil - roots need to "breathe"
2. pull the weeds out including it's roots - many weeds are spreading underground via their roots
3. watering the plants at stems instead of watering the leaves from above

so if you sum it up.. the only conclusion is "it's freaking pointless !"  . it can handle 2 square meters of soil at a price of 3000$ :-DD and it won't last longer than 1 or 2  years outside (rain, dust, UV light).
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Farmbot
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2016, 08:24:18 am »
That's not really my field.
 

Online Fungus

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Re: Farmbot
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2016, 08:34:08 am »
placing seeds is few seconds per plant out of the several months of the grow cycle - so automating it makes absolutely no sense, automated watering (including monitoring humidity) can be done efficiently and much cheaper (while covering much bigger area), poking the weeds under the soil is pointless

so if you sum it up.. the only conclusion is "it's freaking pointless !"  . it can handle 2 square meters of soil at a price of 3000$ :-DD and it won't last longer than 1 or 2  years outside (rain, dust, UV light).

Yep. The amount of work needed to set this thing up and constantly monitor it to see if it's working properly looks far more than the amount of work needed to just do it yourself. The main benefit would be automated watering but you don't need a CNC for that (just get an Arduino, a $5 pump and some tubing)

If the field was 50mx50m then it might be a better idea, but... it isn't!
 

Offline jonovid

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Re: Farmbot
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2016, 08:39:33 am »
Farmbot may just have a market in city veggie gardens, for lazy gardeners with iphones.
Farmbot looks like a new way to play Farmville.  :-DD 
as for Carbon dioxide, its vital for life on Earth.  -but the UN or Al Gore is not. remember the world did end in 2012. And theirs a Movie for that one too.

« Last Edit: December 05, 2016, 09:04:31 am by jonovid »
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Online Fungus

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Re: Farmbot
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2016, 09:08:23 am »
Farmbot may just have a market in city veggie gardens, for lazy gardeners with iphones.

I'm sure there's a market for people who want something to show off to their hipster friends. They can even spend ten minutes a day helping the robot get good results.

$3000 for half a kilo of radishes isn't a bargain though, environmentally or otherwise.

(Yeah, I know, I have no imagination and need to keep an open mind about the possibilities of this thing...)
 
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Offline vresiberba

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Re: Farmbot
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2016, 09:17:47 am »
That's not really my field.
Oh, come on, neither is solar roadways ;)
 

Online Fungus

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Re: Farmbot
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2016, 09:24:31 am »
That's not really my field.
Oh, come on, neither is solar roadways ;)
No...solar roadways isn't his path.

(whoosh!)
 

Offline wraper

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Re: Farmbot
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2016, 09:32:36 am »
That's not really my field.
Oh, come on, neither is solar roadways ;)
Actually they are because Dave is interested in solar power and has own solar panels on his roof.
 

Offline jonovid

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Re: Farmbot
« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2016, 09:39:11 am »
 solar roadways just needs a name change to  Solar Driveways  for the home improvement industry & DIY
« Last Edit: December 05, 2016, 09:43:20 am by jonovid »
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Offline vresiberba

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Re: Farmbot
« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2016, 09:58:20 am »
That's not really my field.
Oh, come on, neither is solar roadways ;)
Actually they are because Dave is interested in solar power and has own solar panels on his roof.
I know, he also dabbles in Makerbots and Aurdinos which makes Farmbot right up his alley
 

Offline wraper

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Re: Farmbot
« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2016, 10:35:34 am »
That's not really my field.
Oh, come on, neither is solar roadways ;)
Actually they are because Dave is interested in solar power and has own solar panels on his roof.
I know, he also dabbles in Makerbots and Aurdinos which makes Farmbot right up his alley
You want him to debunk farming, not electronics.
 

Offline vresiberba

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Re: Farmbot
« Reply #18 on: December 05, 2016, 11:01:58 am »
That's not really my field.
Oh, come on, neither is solar roadways ;)
Actually they are because Dave is interested in solar power and has own solar panels on his roof.
I know, he also dabbles in Makerbots and Aurdinos which makes Farmbot right up his alley
You want him to debunk farming, not electronics.
Wh... eh, no, I want him to debunk the concept, just like he debunked the concept of solar roadways. Both includes electronic engineering with a specific purpose to save money and provide a benefit for the environment.
 

Offline wraper

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Re: Farmbot
« Reply #19 on: December 05, 2016, 11:18:56 am »
Wh... eh, no, I want him to debunk the concept, just like he debunked the concept of solar roadways. Both includes electronic engineering with a specific purpose to save money and provide a benefit for the environment.
The concept is a new way of farming. Electronics cannot be debunked because it can and will (if enough effort is put into implementation) work. What you can debunk is if such farming is financially viable, and that means Dave would need to dig into farming, how it happens, farming expenses.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2016, 11:20:44 am by wraper »
 

Online Fungus

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Re: Farmbot
« Reply #20 on: December 05, 2016, 11:26:30 am »
Dave would need to dig into farming.

They're coming thick and fast now.

I know, he also dabbles in Makerbots and Aurdinos which makes Farmbot right up his alley

There's no doubt the machinery will work.

Is it worth doing? I dunno. How exactly do you use a multimeter to measure a radish? What sort of oscilloscope probe can measure the CO2 savings?

 

Offline vresiberba

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Re: Farmbot
« Reply #21 on: December 05, 2016, 11:35:18 am »
There's no doubt the machinery will work.
Solar roadways work too.

Is it worth doing?
I don't know.

How exactly do you use a multimeter to measure a radish?
How exactly do you use a multimeter to measure a tractor on a piece of hexagonal glass?

What sort of oscilloscope probe can measure the CO2 savings?
The same oscilloscope that can measure the grants given for untenable and unrealistic projects no-one needs.
 

Offline Brumby

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Re: Farmbot
« Reply #22 on: December 05, 2016, 02:03:51 pm »
Let's stop trying to argue with less than helpful analogies and irrelevant comparisons.

Solar Roadways.
There are two basic components - the electrical and the mechanical.

The fundamental measure of the viability of Solar Roadways can be derived directly from analysis of the electrical performance.  Yes, there is a durability requirement - but if the electrical side of things doesn't add up, then no amount of mechanical wizardry is going to change that.

Farmbot.
Again we have two basic components - the electrical and the agricultural.

The fundamental measure of the viability of the Farmbot is primarily in the agriculture.  The electrical merely plays a part in the efficiency of the agriculture - and all the electrical analysis under the sun cannot give any direct answers about that.  Dave is not the person I would ask to debunk this.


The difference isn't apples and oranges - it's tarmac and tomatoes.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2016, 02:05:38 pm by Brumby »
 

Offline jonovid

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Re: Farmbot
« Reply #23 on: December 05, 2016, 02:17:30 pm »
Quote
Farmbot.
Again we have two basic components - the electrical and the agricultural.
Farmbot is automated horticulture, but its size maybe too small for most Industrial horticulture.

I had an odd idea of automated horticulture farming way back in 1980. when I was working on my father's farm. you must be kidding!  :bullshit:
he told me at the time. the idea of what if? we had automated structure used to straddle the vegetable beds & operate along two rails? on rail wheels.container gantry crane. as in like an oil platform. but its an horticulture platform or shed on rails. no wet mud no hot sun. all like have a big roof,  workers have a lunch room & bathroom , work platform moves over the vegetable beds on a gantry platform, powered by a diesel engine that powers hydraulics & Three-phase electric power. like the show-rides use.   the idea was dropped, as one kids extravagant nonsense.

why horticulture farming is so hard on your back. -off the web
« Last Edit: December 05, 2016, 03:59:13 pm by jonovid »
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Offline vodka

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Re: Farmbot
« Reply #24 on: December 05, 2016, 04:00:25 pm »
Quote
Farmbot.
Again we have two basic components - the electrical and the agricultural.
Farmbot is automated horticulture, but its size maybe too small for most Industrial horticulture.

I had an odd idea of automated horticulture farming way back in 1980. when I was working on my father's farm. you must be kidding!  :bullshit:
he told me at the time. the idea of what if? we had automated structure used to straddle the vegetable beds & operate along two rails? on rail wheels.container gantry crane. as in like an oil platform. but its an horticulture platform or shed on rails. no wet mud no hot sun. all like have a big roof,  workers have a lunch room & bathroom , work platform moves over the vegetable beds on a gantry platform, powered by a diesel engine that powers hydraulics & Three-phase electric power. like the show-rides use.

why horticulture farming is so hard on your back. -off the web

A machine as this:

https://youtu.be/_i62juq8Euk

 


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