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10/11/2012 at 18:11

So, here's the thing. My school has qualified for the regional robotics finals. We are to make a robotic model that would solve a problem that the elderly have. We have interviewed some elderly people and one thing they said they found gets harder with age is gardening. Because they don't like having to bend over, they think it's time consuming etc. SO we decided to build a model which would be like a frame/grid that you stretch around the area you want watered/ seeds planted in, and then there's a little robot that hangs to the frame and leaves a trickle of water or seeds at regular intervals behind it. I would find you a picture but it's on the school computers. It doesn't really matter. Anyway, this is where I need your help. My team may know a lot about robotics, but they know nothing about gardening! Is there any feedback you can give us on this idea? Potential problems you see with it, things we should know? Or some positive feedback that we can quote in the presentation?

Thanks so much!

Finlay.

10/11/2012 at 18:23

Digging  seed planting, plant/seedling planting possibly. Watering can already be done automatically with seeper hoses and taps with timers.

Go to Amazon and type in Garden Watering Systems - you may be surprised how much is already on market.

11/11/2012 at 07:48

A lot of plants that we buy in garden centres have been produced and raised by automated processes. Commercial horticulture is highly automated.

There are two ways you can go about automating the processes we use to raise and care for plants. You can either mimic the way a person performs a process. Or you can redesign the process from scratch, to make it easier for a machine to produce the same end result.

Just below is the website of a horticultural machines manufacturer.

For example, their device called Handy Seeder is a device for putting tiny seeds into the individual cells in a seed tray. This is exactly what some elderly people might want to do, but it requires a steady hand and can be very difficult. The seed trays used by amateur gardners have cells which are a lot bigger than the ones shown in that device, but it they are similar.

I would imagine that all of their specific individual designs are patented, but the various products they have may give you some ideas...

http://www.hamilton-design.co.uk/

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