Students showcase ‘FarmBot’ as cutting edge ag technology

High school students in Nebraska are learning how to use innovative technology to advance small-scale farming.

Aaron McClelan, a student at The Career Academy in Lincoln, tells Brownfield the robot is more accurate on seed depth and placing, eliminating the potential for human error. “It’s similar to fully autonomous tractors where it will get programmed to go to a certain field. It knows the width of a certain attachment and everything it needs to know,” he says. “It can run the same way just that no one needs to be there.”

But, McClelan says new technology comes with its own set of challenges. “Over the summer last year, the raspberry pie failed it completely failed, which allows it to connect to the internet. Trying to figure it out, get the part and get it fixed, and back up and operational took two to three months,” he says.

He says they’ve been using ‘FarmBot’ in their greenhouse. “We’re currently planting mild lettuce but our goal is to get to spicy lettuce, kale and basil. We could probably have it done in two to three hours,” he said.

The senior says the ‘FarmBot’ runs from an app on a smartphone and is one example how technology can help fix world-wide problems like food insecurity. 

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