If you want to grow a sustainable garden full of fresh vegetables, you have to be prepared to do a lot of work. That includes planting seeds, removing weeds, and watering your plants the proper amount on a regular basis. But modern technology is amazing, and all of those things can be automated. That’s what FarmBot has been doing for years, and now they’re back with two new FarmBot Express models that are their most affordable garden robots to date.
FarmBot is rolling out two new models for discounted pre-orders this month: the Express and the Express XL. The Express is designed for planter beds measuring 1.1 x 2.7 meters (3.6 x 8.85 feet), and the Express XL can handle beds up to 2.3 x 5.7 meters (7.54 x 18.7 feet). Both can take care of plants up to half a meter (1.64 feet) tall. During the pre-order launch sale, you can get the Express v1.0 for $1,495 or the Express XL v1.0 for $1,995. Both are expected to start shipping in November. Other than the size of the planters that they work with, there isn’t any difference between the two models.
Each FarmBot Express is essentially a large CNC machine that can plant seeds loaded into a hopper, dig out weeds with an auger, and water your plants. You can even attach a grow light if you require it. It’s controlled by a Raspberry Pi Zero W and a custom Farmduino Express board. Setting up the farming operations is as easy as dragging and dropping tasks in the free web-accessible software. Data on many plants is already built in, but you can always customize them or add new ones. FarmBot is even equipped with a camera and computer vision for monitoring your planter bed, so it can track your plants’ health and automatically remove weeds.