PR6: Open-source and robots for agriculture

Open-source Agricultural Projects and Hackerspaces

La notion de brevet, donc de notre point de vue de confiscation au profit d’individus ou de groupes, est contraire à notre volonté de contribuer à la production et la diffusion de Biens Communs. Nous estimons que la créativité est histoire de cheminements, d’influences, de rencontres, de glanages, bref, par essence d’une richesse collective, humaine, d’un génie créatif que nous avons choisi de ne pas garder pour nous. Toutes nos réalisations sont donc diffusées sous licence libre, pour une libre adaptation, pour que les machines et matériels soient vivants, appropriés et appropriables. L’Atelier Paysan

Aggrozouk/Bicitractor pedal powered tractor with electrical assistance
Aggrozouk/Bicitractor pedal-powered tractor with electrical assistance

L’Atelier Paysan: building open-source farm machinery for organic farmers, developers of the Bicitractor/Aggrozouk pedal-powered tractor with electrical assistance

TechAguru: building small-scale open-source solutions in the Philippines to bring precision agriculture to farmers.

Hacker Farm: Japanese countryside farm and hackerspace, have a project on rice paddy water level monitoring.

Farm Hack: Worldwide community of farmers that build their own agricultural machinery, famous for Culticycle pedal powered tractor

Good Tech: Community of makers testing prototypes in a realistic environment. Accelerator program for “bringing sustainable tech into mainstream“.

Fietswieders: “a lowtech agricultural machinery, based on open source to make the life of (organic) farmers more fun!” by Dutch community, using bicycles to make machines suited for work lying in prone position (facing the ground).

Obviously better technology will only make a difference if it´s actually used by many people. Therefore scaling new products is a key aspect of what we do. GoodTech

Culticycle pedal-powered tractor
Culticycle pedal-powered tractor

Small Farming Robots

For decades, farm machinery has targeted industrial-sized farmers, underpinning the “get big or get out” ag model of consolidation. Now, the miniaturization of farm machinery may be the ag-tech counter-trend that actually encourages smaller, more diverse farms.

Weeding robot Naio
Weeding robot Naio

Even in poorer nations, farm labor is not always available, as people are flocking to cities in increasing numbers. Which brings us to HelloTractor. Calling itself the Uber of Farm Machinery, this startup based in Washington, DC and Nairobi, Kenya, allows farmers to request farm machinery, just as you might “hail” a car with Uber. HelloTractor’s delivery system is tied to its own small, smart tractors, which monitor usage and location for the security of the owner. Owners can help offset the cost of their purchase by renting it out. And because labor shortages on farms can lead to poor harvests and lost income, the wider availability of these size-appropriate machines can help whole communities grow.

Yes, big machines may have allowed a single person to farm miles of land. But they also created farms low on diversity. Small machines could not only help large farms to become more diverse and ecologically sound, they can be a huge help to small, diversely planted farms that suffer from too little machine solutions to help them. Source

Rowbot: robots for small-scale agriculture in corn farming

Agribotix: Drones for agriculture

Naio: robots for small-scale agriculture

Prospero: agricultural hexapod robot prototype, designed to work in swarms

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