Farmbot Update and the end of my Internship

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Today was my last day at work and it was very sad to leave. The team is smaller than when I started so I have had more freedom to develop my project but there are also fewer people to play table football with at lunch!

As promised, I will talk a bit about the projects I have been working on in this post. These 6 weeks have flown by, probably because work has been fun (almost) every day. I have been developing the Farmbot project. A Farmbot is a robot which you can either make yourself or buy as a kit online which will plant, look after and monitor a bed such as a vegetable patch. My goal was to make a website on which you could manage and control multiple Farmbots in one place. The alternative is to use the official website which would require the user to remember lots of login details and this is also time consuming. I also had no knowledge of web design, ever!

I was told to start learning Django which is a framework in Python. It was very difficult and took me weeks to understand. Parallel to this, the company already has a Farmbot working in the south of the island on which I conducted testing on this the early stages of my project where my goal was to simply send and receive simple instructions and data to the robot. As the project developed, I was able to style the website (with some help), make the website intuitive and extend the control to multiple hypothetical Farmbots. I also started to add another page on which the user could make and edit sequences of commands which the Farmbot could execute one after the other.

In my fourth week, I had a lot of fun – I was allowed to leave my desk and start planning and making a new Farmbot from a kit. The kit was amazing, it fitted together so well it felt like an Engineer’s adult Lego set (picture below). This took a few days to build before I downloaded the software onto it and could see it come to life! The most rewarding moment for me was to see my robot respond to commands sent from the website I created. The next week, the website was published onto the internet so my friends could test it and watch the webcam with me working in the background online.

 

The website can be found by following this link (http://mygardenbot.stetter-itq.com) and an account is free to make, however most features can not be seen unless you own your own Farmbot. The website is in late development so forgive any remaining bugs! I attach some screenshots of the full website below.

It makes me very sad to leave because I have had a really great time working with the team. Even when my computer couldn’t run a few python scripts written in Linux making me hit my head on the table for 3 days was memorable, because the people around me were offering their help and advice. I’ll miss the tapas, the Tropical de Limon and the beaches too. Below is a picture of the team on my last day, they made it difficult to leave

My flight will leave tomorrow morning and I am quite excited to return to a country which is mostly cloudy but I’m also sad saying my farewells to the team and my friends. I hope I can catch up with the people I have met here one day and I urge them to come visit sunny Cambridge.

Thanks for everything – I hope I can catch up soon,

Robbie

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