Why isn't there a garden robot?
Watering: About the most we have today are drip watering systems with automatic timers. There aren't even commonly available systems that measure and react to the actual water content in the soil.
Backyard Garden Automation: They can fly a camera on three winches
over a football field, why can't we rig up a hose, seed and rabbit pellet
dispenser, micro weed eater, and camera?
http://makeprojects.com/Project/Build-a-Wirebot/744/1 (pictures^ ) A "wirebot" (See MassMind Wirebot Presentation^) can hang above a garden on three poles and "fly" over the plants taking pictures for remote review, probing the soil for moisture level, and if fitted with a gripper or something like the "Awecome Auger^" could remove weeds, dig small holes to plant seeds, etc... The instability of the wirebot head can be improved by running /two/ wires from the head to each pole, one high and one low holding the head top and bottom. A motorized winch is being developed at:
How about a social web site that shows an overhead picture of your garden and invites people to play a "game" of nuking your weeds, complete with CGI explosions of the targets. The aggregate result, less protected areas where you know there are plants, can direct the robot to weed the area.
Aquaponics is a popular and innovative method for reducing the inputs required to produce both plant (hydroponic) and fish (aquaculture) by combining the two systems: The plants clean the fish waste out of the water by using it as their fertalizer, and the fish food becomes the input instead. The main reduction is in water needed. However, in a small system, water quality issues can cycle very quickly and get out of control before a human notices. Robotic systems to monitor and perhaps react to water quality issues is critical and very lacking. Currently, the electronic sensors for those test (e.g. Ph) are very expensive and require frequent replacement.+
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<A HREF="http://www.piclist.com/techref/other/robogarden.htm"> Automated Gardening, Garden automation, drip watering</A>
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