Introducing the growBot project

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?

Fall is a season of harvest; winter a time to plan for the coming spring.

Growbotics falls naturally into this rhythm, and for the Fall 2009 semester the project will focus on three core actions.

Research
• Existing Body of Technical Knowledge
• Conversation Stakeholders
• Georgia Tech Policies regarding Symposiums

Create
• Space for Community Dialogue (this website!)
• Conversation Guidelines for Spring Researchers
• Materials to Guide Conversations (including promotional materials for community repurposing)

Communicate
• WITH TECHNOLOGISTS: regarding existing projects and availability
• WITH GROWERS: about technology’s potential, about problems that could be solved using technology, about best practices and communication structures
• WITH ATL: about the growbots existence, through various events designed to promote

Georgia Tech’s Demo Day in the Digital Media department [RSVP] provides a natural break in this development; allowing for a nuanced assessment of future paths. How effective were the communication strategies developed? What additional research is necessary? How can the inclusion of additional parties impact the project’s development? What new items need to be created in order to make the growBot Symposium a success?