“Intelligent and ecological, for a more sustainable and improved agriculture”
About the project
Our Gardenbot Project is based on a Columbian Smart Farming Project called “FarmBot”. It was developed during our first SMART FARMING MAKEATHON 2017 in Bogota, Columbia. This project was realized with the help of an international student team in collaboration with the Columbian University of Los Andes.
The aim of the Gardenbot Project is to investigate various cultivation and management strategies. In addition, we want to better protect plantations from external influences, bad weather conditions and pests in the future, as well as control growth. So, with this a new solution was created that can not only be useful for agriculture, but it can also be used for private households. Farmers and consumers can automatically and intelligently manage, monitor, and control their fruit and vegetable beds.
To make this possible, a small test bed was created for the project and the Gardenbot robot was attached to the bed. The attached controller can move autonomously within the bed and carry out processes such as sowing, watering and moisture measurement. Thus, the planting and treatment of the bed can be automated without human labour, so that the consumer only harvests their own crops. Via an open-source web app, it is possible to keep better track of the harvest. The web app can be downloaded to any computer, tablet, or smartphone with a modern web browser, allowing the user to customize, adjust and control their own plantation at any time and from anywhere. In addition, the user can use the manual control elements to move the Gardenbot and operate its tools and peripherals in real time.
Thus, as an innovative Smart & Green Technology, our Gardenbot has the potential to advance Agriculture 4.0. This technology will increase the earnings of fruits and vegetables while conserving resources. For this reason, Agriculture 4.0 is also named as the new precision agriculture of the future. With the help of digitalization and artificial intelligence, technological advances can be made possible in agriculture and innovative concepts can be developed.
Behind the project
For some time now, climate change has been an enormous problem for the Columbian agriculture. Especially coffee cultivation in Columbia is of great importance, as it represents an important source of income for many Columbian people and stabilizes the country’s economy. Due to rising temperatures caused by climate change, plantations are experiencing increasing difficulties. For example, the plantations must be moved higher into the mountains to reduce the heat. Another negative aspect is the lack of workers willing to work on the coffee plantations. This is because the work on the plantations, due to the bad working conditions, is hardly manageable for people.
With our first Columbian SMART FARMING MAKEATHON in Bogota, we were able to consider the local needs of a country and develop and elaborate innovative concepts and prototypes with the participants. The main challenge of the SMART FARMING MAKEATHON was to design a smart prototype that can solve an agricultural challenge, such as pest infestation and high resource consumption – in just three days! This project idea was also endorsed and supported by WWF Columbia and the Centre for Studies of the Orinoquia (CEO).
The participating students had the task to involve digitalization and artificial intelligence in agriculture. With this new technology agricultural challenges can be mastered. This has been made possible with the development of the “FarmBot”, our Gardenbot Project. In the future, these projects can be used to develop further prototypes in the field of Smart Farming.
Importance of the project
In addition to developing effective problem-solving approaches, projects such as the Gardenbot help students to link their theoretical knowledge with practice and thus expand their technological know-how with real projects. The practical implementation enhances an intensive examination of the subject matter and, above all, raises the awareness of young people for global themes such as digitalization and sustainability. Thus, concrete challenges can be easily dealt with like those in the SMART FARMING MAKEAHTON. In this way, we train young people in the spirit of Education 4.0, which focuses on developing their skills.
With the help of our Gardenbot Project, current problems such as the scarcity of resources in Columbian agriculture can be solved. The use of digitalization and thus the progress of precision Agriculture 4.0 enables agricultural processes to be controlled autonomously. In addition, important information and data, such as the condition and maturity of plants, are determined with the help of artificial intelligence, thereby improving the efficiency of agriculture. Furthermore, the necessary resources can be reduced so that agriculture becomes more ecological. For this reason, the Gardenbot approach is not only an improvement for Columbia, but also for agriculture in the whole world, promoting a sustainable, smart, and green future.
The awareness of a more sustainable approach to our environment is growing, especially among the younger generation. This led to the formation of initial movements and demonstrations demanding more climate protection. But concrete solutions and especially the implementation of these are still missing. To achieve an improvement in the area of environmental protection, however, it is indispensable to show initiative and to adopt new ways and methods.
With our Smart & Green Technology Projects, such as the Gardenbot, and our Innovation Festivals, such as the SMART FARMING MAKEATHON in Bogota, we encourage young talents to use new technologies to develop innovative and sustainable solutions for upcoming challenges and to implement them in practice. We achieve this through a modern and future-oriented training according to Education 4.0.