Are you reading this from an office cubicle or other interior space with a limited view of the world outside? How would it be if you could watch vegetables being planted, weeded and grown instead of that asphalt covered rooftop, and actually get some food at the end of the week to go along with the digitally recorded bank deposit which then digitally gets distributed to your service providers for your digital entertainment? (I mean, have you ever thought of your reverse supply chain, the products that you pay for with the hours you put in?)  Introducing FarmBot, the open-source CNC farming robot   which is being developed in California as a completely open source project to build large scale solar powered food generation and farming devices. This concept builds on the Raspberry Pi foundation idea of teaching new technology, but also combines farming and land use and, potentially, healthy food. Let’s think of this as the first step toward integrating AI, Internet of Things and Sustainable Organic Agriculture. Think it puts humans out of the loop? I envision this as a way to connect by placing food production everywhere, link it to solar and water efficiency and potentially raise awareness of the joy of growing food.


Water in Ecuador

November 15, 2010

Engineers without borders building wind power pumps to create simple water supply.

The Tingo project is one of the oldest and most ambitious that this particular EWB chapter has worked on. It will entail sending water from a source at the base of the mountain, up to a distribution tank at the highest place in the village, near the apex of the mountain where an Incan fortress once stood, ringed in concentric, ascending circles of stone. From there water will flow downwards through pipes into the 26 households that currently have no water for washing, cooking, or irrigation. The project has been long in process for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the difficulty of communicating between Pittsburgh and Tingo; there are neither landlines nor cell phone service in the parish. The engineers’ visit last month – a long week of day-time surveying and night-time conferences – will likely be the last information-gathering effort before construction begins this coming winter.