Agriculture equipment has been steadily becoming more accurate and precise with the advent of GPS autopiloting systems, short range radio location systems, and computer vision. All of these technologies are essentially augmenting the traditional free-driving tractor on wheels.
Rather than making incremental changes to existing equipment, FarmBot takes a new approach at precision farming, tearing down everything from the past and starting with a new paradigm. By simply placing the tooling equipment on a set of tracks, the system suddenly has the ability to be extremely precise and reposition itself in exact locations repeatedly over time. And this is all done with very technology that has been around for decades in printers, manufacturing equipment, and just recently 3D printers.
This new level of precision and control in farming will massively increase efficiency in food production in many ways. Here are a few examples:
- Weeds can be eliminated while maintaining the desired plants
- Any type of packing structure of plants can be created and managed
- Each plant can be watered, fertilized, or sprayed individually with a regimen that changes throughout its life cycle. Plants can be watered at the stalk or in a circle of a certain radius.
- Tracks take up less area than paths for tractor wheels and do not compact the soil
- Plant life cycles do not have to start and end at the same time, rather the farm can be a continuously changing environment
A FarmBot knows where desired plants were planted and can then remove everything else.