Farmbots are raised garden beds suitable for growing herbs and vegetables. The Farmbots are 6*1.5 metres including a robotic arm and dashboard, which positions them at the intersection of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), agricultural science, Internet of Things (IoT) and robotics, creating an ideal educational tool for primary and secondary schools and TAFE colleges. The Farmbots are equipped with software and a dashboard to plan the vegetable garden after which a robotic arm inserts and waters the seeds/vegetable plants and automatically detects and removes weeds.
One Farmbot is already in operation on the University of Tasmania’s Sandy Bay campus and will be used to aid research, teaching and engagement with schools. Five Farmbots are partially assembled and ready for deployment and commissioning at five Tasmanian schools and colleges. The Farmbots will provide an exciting and applied means for schools to interact with their students to showcase how Industry 4.0 can provide value to farming that may encourage them to pursue careers and education in agricultural science and STEM.