I ran into this youtube channel (Cool Gadgets & Stuff) that seems to exist to showcase everything I’ve not thought of inventing but ought to have…
It has some interesting devices. In many cases based on minor robotics. Things like a printer where you set the box on a surface and it runs around printing on it, or a cutting tool that does the same but cutting out shapes while free running (or the more mundane small plotter box but where you can swap the pen for a laser cutter…)
The one that put me over the edge to making this a posting, is a DIY open source kit to make a gardening robot. It is a metal frame around a raised bed box with an arm. The arm can plant, water, weed and I’m sure even more. The fun bit? The brain is a Raspberry Pi computer ;-) It uses limited robot vision to spot weeds and then terminate them, and a moisture probe to keep soil moisture ideal.
Just what I always wanted, a robot to grow food for me ;-)
But just be aware, I didn’t see a shovel attachment, so I think building the raised bed, shoveling in and then raking out the soil are all for you to do.
Here’s a couple of their video collections of “tools I’d like to have in my infinite workshop someday”…
Here’s the Farm Bot Link.
What happens when computer geeks playing with robots and software and computer games start thinking about food?
Drag and Drop Farming
Graphically design your farm by dragging and dropping plants into the map. The game-like interface is learned in just a few minutes so you’ll have the whole growing season planned in no time.
Gee… wonder if those machines that 3-D print houses could be hooked up to Sim City and… drag and drop city?
In this one, someone re-invents the Vac-u-form toy I had back about the ’60s? as a usable maker device. Then there’s the Goliath free ranging router… But what I really want is the CNC milling machine. Who needs an 80% “lower” when you can get aluminum stock and just let it mill away…
I think we are rapidly approaching the point where a person with, oh, a 1000 sq. ft. (or maybe less) of garage space can do a complete shop with CNC milling, painting & printing – both surface and 3D, vac-u-formed packaging and basically make just about anything you wanted (minus chemical manufactures and semiconductor fab like operations… we’re talking mechanicals here).
Now if only I had a 1000 square feet of empty space and a few $Thousand doing nothing ;-)
I back tracked to their first one of the series. It has a knitting machine in it. Design on your computer, out pops your beanie ;-)