• About the Site

    What happens when two groups who have never talked before share conversation space? What ideas grow out of that generative process? What processes of guidance and mediation guide disparate individuals, communities, and specialized knowledge holders to fruitful imaginations of how technology can impact community? How best can we focus this conversation space towards a specific goal: speculation regarding DIY small-scale robotics technologies and their impact on local organic farming systems? This project is a collaboration between Georgia Institute of Technology and Atlanta's independent food community, rogueApron. This research is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. More information on the City as Learning Lab. Follow Us on Twitter
  • Archives

  • growBots on Twitter

    Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

Project Overview: Spring 2009 Syllabus

Our project this semester is to develop a pilot participatory design workshop with local small-scale food producers that explores near future uses of robotics and sensing technologies in the context of sustainable urban agriculture. Activities will include:
• visual and interaction design of print and online media
• the design of physical artifacts and interactive systems
• the development of workshop activities
• field research with local food producers

In addition to these activities, there will be weekly readings in both theory and practice and all students will be expected to contribute towards research papers and/or presentations.

CNN Reports on Farms of the Future

EU’s FutureFarm on Year Two of Wired EuroFarming

3 Billion dollars worth of software management is going into the EU FutureFarm project. Here’s the scoop on this standardized farm management information system:

This short film, first presented at Agritechnica 2009, shows the concept developed within the EU FP7 project “FutureFarm” for a service-oriented architecture for delivering knowledge about farm management and crop production rules, regulations, laws and standards in a machine-readable form.
Using this system, farmers’ software may automatically check planned operations for compliance to any standards.

Here’s a flyer with more info

The EU's Future Farm Project
The EU's Future Farm Project

Future Robotics Technologies Will Shape Production Process of Vegges

Says the folks responsible for that future:

Manipulation is the key issue for robotics to apply to the agricultural industry,” said Jeff Legault, associate director of business development at the National Robotics Engineering Center, Carnegie Mellon University.

Creating robots with the ability to harvest produce as quickly and gently has humans won’t be possible for at least another decade, Legault said, but will change the way companies produce fruits and vegetables when it is widely adopted. ThePacker.com

This would be an interesting guy to hear more from.

Robotic Farms of the Past Future [or Future Past]

Lots of great tidbits from Paleo-Future, including:

Superfarm+year+2020

Superfarm in the year 2020

Future+Farming

Epcot’s The Future World of Agriculture 1984

1982+robot+farms+full+paleo-future

1983’s Our Future Needs (World of Tomorrow)

Carnegie Mellon’s SnackBot

Although the focus of this site is exploring agricultural robots, we will definitely make room for some sweet, sweet robot butlers.

<blockquote>CMU’s Snackbot is a roving wheeled ‘bot who’s primary purpose is to roam the halls of the University’s buildings, delivering tasty treast to students and faculty. Snackbot not only drives around bringing snacks, he also brings plenty of goodwill, with a pleasant-sounding voice communication system and calm demeanor unlikely to be rattled by even the most demanding snack customer. He features a sophisticated “multi-sensor fusion algorithms” which let him understand where he’s going, navigate through crowds, and can autonomously learn new objects.

– <a href=”http://technabob.com/blog/2009/10/18/snackbot-snack-delivering-robot/”>Technabob.com</a></blockquote&gt;

MORE: <a href=”http://www.snackbot.org/team-public.html”>Carnegie Mellon’s Snackbot</a>.

N Tech Industries and the Green Seeker

Traditional industrial agriculture relies on large scale application of pesticides that work hand in hand with genetically modified crops. Researchers at Oklahoma State University have developed a soil sensing mechanism that deploys site-specific amounts of chemicals.

To quote the short film:

This is precision agriculture at it’s best. The environment is spared unnecessary spraying of chemicals. The savings in fertilizer translate into cheaper food at the grocery store. And farmers benefit from lower operating costs. [1:27 – 1:39]

This is a version of a Robot Farm – as the title of the film implies – one which the growBot project seeks to develop an alternative to.

More info at the GreenSeeker home.