The Robot That Could Transform How You Eat [Q&A]

FarmBot lets you cultivate crops from your smartphone

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FarmBot‬ Genesis, humanity's first open-source CNC farming machine

FarmBot‬ Genesis, humanity's first open-source CNC farming machine

California-based entrepreneur Rory Aronson has invented and developed the world’s first fully open-source CNC farming robot. His ambitious project, the FarmBot, can be built by anyone from 3D-printed parts, including a seed injector, watering nozzle, and a weed destroyer.

The three-person-team behind FarmBot also just released FarmBot Genesis, a DIY kit including all necessary parts to remotely plant, water, and monitor a garden.

In this week’s 10 Good Questions, Aronson talks with Goodnet about his inspiration for FarmBot, the community behind it, and how people can pitch in to make it better.

1. What is your organization’s mission?

FarmBot's mission is to grow a community that produces free and open-source hardware plans, software, data, and documentation enabling everyone to build and operate a farming machine.

2. What makes you guys different from the rest?

We're bringing the open-source DIY maker philosophy to an industry that is largely proprietary. FarmBot is an open-source automated farming machine. You can imagine it as a giant 3D printer outfitted with a seed injector, sprayer, plow, and sensors.

3. What three words describe your organization?

Open, efficient, forward-thinking.

4. What inspires you?

The potential for the the future and the role that I can play in shaping it for the better. I very much appreciate open-source projects and would consider myself a part of the open-source movement and community, with FarmBot being my first major contribution.

5. Who's your favorite good doer figure?

Elon Musk, the South African-Canadian-American entrepreneur who founded SolarCity, Tesla Motors, and SpaceX - all of which revolve around his vision to change the world and humanity, through advancing sustainable energy.

6. What is the best part about your job?

I get to change the world by working on my own ideas.

7. How do you measure success within your organization?

The entire project is being developed by a team of three people, including me, so I wouldn't exactly call us an organization. Since FarmBot is completely open-source and the true success of FarmBot will depend on how active our community of adopters and contributors is, the our best measure for success is the health of our community.

8. Facebook or Twitter?

Both: Facebook and Twitter.

9. What do you want Goodnet users to know about your organization?

The development we are most excited about is the recent launch of our debut product, the FarmBot Genesis kit. Genesis provides everything you will need to get started with your own backyard farm in one simple to install kit. Anyone who is more technologically adventurous can also download all the plans for the FarmBot and build everything from scratch.

All parts of the FarmBot can also be cut and 3D-printed by the user (FarmBot)

All parts of the FarmBot can also be cut and 3D-printed by the user (FarmBot)

10. How can people get involved?

By visiting our website and talking a part in the conversations on our forum. By becoming a part in the growing FarmBot community and contributing their own ideas for tools and improvements that can be added to the FarmBot. This is the beauty of open-source projects: every single person, no matter where in the world, can add their ideas and make the world a little better.

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