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Brian Onang'o
Brian Onang'o

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ChainBrake: Building the world's cheapest Agricultural Robot

Chainbrake is our attempt at building the world's cheapest agricutural robot, Africa's version of farmbot cheap enough to be afforded in Africa.

This repo has been archived. We have stopped work on this project, as a result of which we will neither edit nor write any further articles on the work of developing chainbrake. Please have a look at the Brian Mechanism Project which is the project that has taken over chainbrake in building the world's cheapest robot.

The following is a cseco project which we'd like to run parallel with Kataa Queue. It is intended to run for 4 - 6 weeks. And with the limited resources that we have in our R&D department at CSECO, where our main goal is developing solutions that are cheap enough to be afforded in Africa, we are looking for an affordable way we can run the rest of the project.

Over the course of 4 years at CSECO, we have worked on a number of projects, some which we worked on as consultants, but some have been our own projects which we have always been happy to opensource. But we have been learning a lot along the way, especially on (1) software architecture and (2) project management. What we are still in the process of learning is how to make enough money from our projects which is commensurate to the effort we put into them. For instance, our work which detected a firmware bug on a series of Huawei routers(ONT) which enables internet access without an active subscription(we will document this soon. It is currently available at a private repo) or the buggy Mombasa Water portal which enables access to all customer balance data, or the customization of thingsboard which is also under a private repo, etc.

We have however, been able to successfully develop a means of documenting software architecture. And this series of articles is an attempt to develop a simple means of project management, for projects that require more than the writing of code; right from ideation to system design, to the design of both hardware and software components of the system, to software development and the fabrication of the hardware components.

We have proposed to have a system of writing publicly whatever parts of the project we would like to opensource and have have the proprietery sections documented in private repos.

The present project involves building the world's cheapest Agricultural robot. It has been long in the making, but now all things are set and a prototype of it should be up and testing in the next 6 weeks. The inspiration for this project came from FarmBot. But as shall be been from the concept document up ahead, farmbot is too expensive for us Africans. See the buyer distribution map below to understand what we mean. There are but two Africans living in Africa how have been able to buy Farmbot, which, as shall also be seen, can be rightly classified as a very dear educational toy.

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Over the course of the years, we have worked on a simulator for farmbot and a number of mechanisms which we proposed for building affordability into the proposed robot. But now we have finally settled for a chainbrake mechanism as the means of actuating the robot. It shall also be seen why this choice was made. Although the chainbrake mechanism is an opensource design, we are in the process of working on an IP for a chainbrake actuator. All this is part of the current project. We shall now go on ahead to look at the project timeline.

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