Open Source Agriculture Technology

A special issue of Technologies (ISSN 2227-7080). This special issue belongs to the section "Information and Communication Technologies".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 June 2021) | Viewed by 10663

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Western University, London, ON N6A 3K7, Canada
Interests: solar photovoltaics; appropriate technology; distributed recycling and additive manufacturing; open hardware; resilient food
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are planning to publish a Special Issue on “Open Agricultural Technology”. It is beneficial to all of us who eat if the technologies that produce our food and the data about our food system are both made public and enable control by the farmers that produce them. One way of accomplishing this is to apply open source design principles to agricultural technologies. We are interested in publishing work from developers creating advanced, high-quality open source agricultural technologies for a wide range of applications that provide better control and lower costs than conventional technologies.

The aim of this Special Issue is to provide original research in (1) low-cost agricultural technology designs; (2) performance validation and evaluation studies of newly developed agriculture technology, including openly accessible reference standards; and (3) review articles on the current status of open source agricultural technology and their applications.

We are especially interested in submissions covering open source technologies for:

  • Monitoring soil and water quality;
  • Irrigation and water use efficiency;
  • Agriculture machinery at the small and large scale;
  • Agriculture-focused remote sensing;
  • Geographical Information Systems (GIS) for agriculture.

All the participants of Gathering for Open Agricultural Technology (GOAT 2020), on 7–10 June 2020, in New York, USA and their colleagues are encouraged to submit to this Special Issue.

Prof. Dr. Joshua M. Pearce
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Technologies is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • open source hardware
  • open source software
  • open source agriculture
  • agriculture technology
  • agriculture machinery
  • organic agriculture
  • sustainable agriculture
  • conservation agriculture
  • precision agriculture
  • organic farming

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

18 pages, 3785 KiB  
Article
Open-Source Script for Design and 3D Printing of Porous Structures for Soil Science
by Romain Bedell, Alaa Hassan, Anne-Julie Tinet, Javier Arrieta-Escobar, Delphine Derrien, Marie-France Dignac, Vincent Boly, Stéphanie Ouvrard and Joshua M. Pearce
Technologies 2021, 9(3), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies9030067 - 15 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 4685
Abstract
Three-dimensional (3D) printing in soil science is relatively rare but offers promising directions for research. Having 3D-printed soil samples will help academics and researchers conduct experiments in a reproducible and participatory research network and gain a better understanding of the studied soil parameters. [...] Read more.
Three-dimensional (3D) printing in soil science is relatively rare but offers promising directions for research. Having 3D-printed soil samples will help academics and researchers conduct experiments in a reproducible and participatory research network and gain a better understanding of the studied soil parameters. One of the most important challenges in utilizing 3D printing techniques for soil modeling is the manufacturing of a soil structure. Until now, the most widespread method for printing porous soil structures is based on scanning a real sample via X-ray tomography. The aim of this paper is to design a porous soil structure based on mathematical models rather than on samples themselves. This can allow soil scientists to design and parameterize their samples according to their desired experiments. An open-source toolchain is developed using a Lua script, in the IceSL slicer, with graphical user interface to enable researchers to create and configure their digital soil models, called monoliths, without using meshing algorithms or STL files which reduce the resolution of the model. Examples of monoliths are 3D-printed in polylactic acid using fused filament fabrication technology with a layer thickness of 0.20, 0.12, and 0.08 mm. The images generated from the digital model slicing are analyzed using open-source ImageJ software to obtain information about internal geometrical shape, porosity, tortuosity, grain size distribution, and hydraulic conductivities. The results show that the developed script enables designing reproducible numerical models that imitate soil structures with defined pore and grain sizes in a range between coarse sand (from 1 mm diameter) to fine gravel (up to 12 mm diameter). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Open Source Agriculture Technology)
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26 pages, 19319 KiB  
Article
Open Source 3D-Printable Planetary Roller Screw for Food Processing Applications
by Marcello C. Guadagno, Jacob M. Loss and Joshua M. Pearce
Technologies 2021, 9(2), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies9020024 - 7 Apr 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 4573
Abstract
Historically, open source agriculture (OSA) was based on grassroots technology generally manufactured by hand tools or with manual machining. The rise of distributed digital manufacturing provides an opportunity for much more rapid lateral scaling of open source appropriate technologies for agriculture. However, the [...] Read more.
Historically, open source agriculture (OSA) was based on grassroots technology generally manufactured by hand tools or with manual machining. The rise of distributed digital manufacturing provides an opportunity for much more rapid lateral scaling of open source appropriate technologies for agriculture. However, the most mature distributed manufacturing area is plastic, which has limited use for many OSA applications. To overcome this limitation with design, this study reports on of a completely 3D-printable planetary roller screw linear actuator. The device is designed as a parametric script-based computer aided design (CAD) package to allow for the easy adaption for a number of applications such as food processing at different scales. The planetary roller screw is fabricated in dishwasher-safe polyethylene terephthalate glycol (PETG) on an open source machine and tested using an open source testing platform to determine if it could maintain a constant load without slipping and the maximum force. Then, this output is compared to a direct screw press using the same materials. The results found that the maximum force is more than doubled for the roller screw actuator using the same materials, making them adequate for some food processing techniques. Future work is outlined to improve the performance and ease of assembly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Open Source Agriculture Technology)
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