FarmBot Wiki

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This page is to document our FarmBot setup - how we got it going and general maintenance.


  • We hired a third party to do the core installation - the XYZ frame, wiring, RPi/Arduino/RAMPS setup/wiring/installation.
  • Now we need to do the software setup -
  • Initial thoughts were to use the ethernet port to connect to the Internet via building network, but currently thinking that navigating the firewall rules for this might make this route tricky.
  • Thus exploring using the guest WiFi - just need to get round the registration requirements.

Software Setup Basics

  • While waiting for the long term internet connection to be setup we started testing the FB via phone hotspot.
  • Booted up the RPi, connected to the configurator, pointed it at the hotspot. Pointed at the cloud device manager - . Got into that and got it to move!
  • Triggered a firmware upgrade from 3.1.5 to 3.1.6, which seemed to work. However we later found that the arduino was not working - showed as not found in the logs, would not move. Raised on the forums here
  • We don't seem to have an LED on our RAMPS shield, so its hard to tell anything about the state of the Arduino.
  • To make investigation easier (rather than on a windy roof terrace), got a second RPi and Arduino, ran the FarmBot OS on that and saw how that behaved. Then tried various combinations of the in-situ RPi and Arduino and found that the in-situ Arduino does not show up when connected to a laptop. So replaced the arduino and it moved again.
  • Looks like the old Arduino is not usable anymore - see here

How to configure FarmBot software


  • Farm designer lets you choose plants and place them on a virtual version of your FarmBot plot. However this is not currently linked to the actual watering/weeding setup. For example, you cannot move to where a plant is.
  • One option is to have a named sequence for each plant, that moves the arm to just above where it will be planted/watered etc.
  • Or we could setup mock tools for each plant and then use the move absolute feature that moves to a tool location.
  • The FarmBot seems to be very sensitive to forgetting its position. So to set the home position, move it to the lowest value for all directions - takes you to top right in this diagram. Then set that spot to 0 in all axes.
  • The maximum values of all axes is as follows:
    • X 2750, Y 1250, Z 440
  • Then the position of the watering tool is X 0, Y 900, Z 335

Tool setup

  • Needs to define tools, their name and XYZ location. This is then used to move the arm to the tools in the sequences.
  • Now we need to define a sequences to mount and unmount specific tools, eg water sprinkler.

Useful Links

Things to work out

  • Shared sequences? Anyone shared what they have?
  • Command line? API? That is, can we program it via other languages - which have better variables/control support etc. Or trigger things from Slack or IFTTT…
  • Weather – eg raining no need to water? For example, does it/can it detect if earth wet, so no need to water.
  • Soil sensor – gives what/how to use

Things for later, when it works

  • Linking farm designer to sequences? Blog says its on the roadmap.
  • Weed/plant detection – does what – scan whole area and remove non-plant items or ?? Seems to not be available yet.
  • Iteration? would be handy for example to water multiple plants. Coming soon according to blog.

General Notes


farmbots/rabobank-london-roof-terrace-farmbot.txt · Last modified: 2017/06/12 21:32 by kimptoc