Product Review: Linx-Sys CATP-606 ‘Computer-assisted Transplanting Machine’

So this morning I finally gave in. ‘Neesh’bar li ha’zain!’, I muttered. (Hebrew: ‘My dick’s broke!’

Five hundred broccoli babies to move from the sprouting trays to 2″ square pots while they grow big enough to set out, and a job which recalls Jack Nicholson’s “I believe we’ll have to get drunk for this!”
Here is the old set-up,ready to hand-transplant  the first fifty, taken  just moments before I invested in this wonderful machine:old setup

And a close-up, since my camera work is kinda poor:

closeup

————————————————————————————————————————————–

OK, I can’t believe my favorite Ag store, two blocks from my house, actually had one in stock! A ‘beta’ model, full-functioning, but I daresn’t show the proprietary servo-arms here in public.
Other than that, set-up was a cinch. you only have to ‘show’ it where the sprouts ‘live’ on the table, and where to put them, once. Oh, and where’s the bag of potting soil: it fills the pots all by itself.
Anyway, I did the above, pressed “transplant” and a whirr of action hard to follow with the nekkid eye ensued. 31 seconds later the screen said ‘Task complete: next job?’
Here is a glimpse of its handiwork:

task complete

And a glance at some guts I’m allowed to show, the actuating motors:

guts
Conclusion: no more drudgery for this kid. This space-age gadget has already saved me 200 shekels of labor costs. I just have to send one to Beth (Seedsower) from Xanga. If they don’t steal it at the airport.
Two green thumbs up for this device!

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17 thoughts on “Product Review: Linx-Sys CATP-606 ‘Computer-assisted Transplanting Machine’

  1. somewittyhandle

    It makes the job a (cala)breeze.

    At first scan, I was puzzled to see two of the motors oriented with rotors parallel. Then it occurred to me: top: Y, middle: X, bottom: Z, is doable. Unless the bottom one is just for the fan belt.

    Reply
    1. solberg73 Post author

      Dunc, I swear you have the sharpest eyes in the Empire. First the chicken’s pedigree back to the Norman conquest and now this. Yes, the variety *is* Calabreze, and doing astonishingly well here of late, considering the temps and the length-of-day..
      Ok, as to the engineering details, and of course I’m somewhat limited in what I can freely reveal, the axial twist occurs at the wrist joints, and the ‘Z’ axis is a (hidden from view) one-direction pull-up, with gravity providing the down-pressure.
      Unless the whole mess is simply a tape-transport sub-assembly from a Tascam 488 8-channel recording console, awaiting a replacement capstan motor and belt. These spoofers nowadays will do just about anything to fool ‘some of the people, some of the time’. But they throw up their hands when it comes to your visual acuity.
      Thanks so much for weighing in. The point here is of course that not everything can be done better and faster with computers. But you knew that.

      Reply
  2. Kakalakola

    Solberg, you tower above the competing beasts like a giraffe in a circus parade, except for the 40 foot whooping crane.

    Especially with this computer aided transplanting machine. 😀

    Reply
    1. solberg73 Post author

      Of course i have it torn apart already, reading the ROM, (socketed!) and thinking how I can get it to do other ‘interesting’ things with those two arms.
      Seriously, lots of inventions started with a ‘spoof’. But i challenge any current AI to ‘learn’ to transplant seedlings. Just too many variables necessitating quick decisions.
      And thanks for the ‘like’. Google translate has no equivalent on file for the sense in which it’s used here, in Bengali.

      Reply
      1. Kakalakola

        Ah, sounds like ROM. What kind of a CPU was the transplanter using?

        The Bengali equivalent to “like” would be along the lines of “I like this” or “I have liked this”.

        Reply
        1. solberg73 Post author

          Well, I’m no seasoned expert on robotics, but methinks the job of this (nonexistent) device could be handled by USB control from, say, a laptop, or alternately, a stand-alone onboard processor, perhaps of the Motorola single-chip RISC series, if they still make ’em.
          It would likely be implemented with a dedicated work-station, with conveyor belts for the supply and output sides. Ready sprouted trays would be indexed into a fixed position, and then a piston from below, pneumatic or servo, would push up the plant-plugs. The tough part is grasping them without crumbling the delicate babies. The set-up would need to also fill the receiving pots, from a potting soil hamper above, fed by gravity and vibration. (with overflow detection!)
          Hey, a better setup would invite and utilize the capable and willing labor force from, say, a nearby (only 4 time zones distant) country of 130 million souls, the majority living on less than a buck-twenty five daily. Nice work in pleasant surroundings, and no annoying tigers hereabouts.
          Any CATP device, even brought to market on, say, less than 50,00 USD R&D would never pay for itself in the global economy.
          But I’ll await your thoughts, and good afternoon to ya.

          Reply
  3. g.

    Stop distracting me with negative avocado talk! And you wonder why the post gets lost. Also, steamed broccoli with avocado and goat feta is wonderful.
    I’m envious of your planting. We’re just now starting to batten things down for winter–though this year we have a little greenhouse, and we’ll see if we can’t get a few tomatoes for the holidays…
    g.

    Reply
    1. solberg73 Post author

      It’s tons of fun, win or lose, with a home garden, especially a quick structure which beats Mother Nature a bit over the winter. Here, ‘winter’ is just the onset of rain, sometimes 4-day thunderstorms, but I really have no seasonal pause.
      As to feta w/broccoli, I am *this* close to checking whether they opened the super here on Saturday night. They’re spotty sometimes; a major chain, (but in the thirld world where things are ‘different’.)

      Reply
  4. somewittyhandle

    I remember being stumped a few years ago when my son, then 7 or so, was watching me transplanting seedlings, much as your robot does above. I think mine were cayenne pepper plants, but same principle.

    “But Dad,” he begins, and I already sense that I am going to need to pull out all the stops on the old cerebrum. “Why didn’t you just plant the seeds in the bigger pots in the first place?”

    Reply
    1. solberg73 Post author

      I’m sure you had an im-percable rejoiner. I’ve been called to task for it also, and usually mention not investing potting soil until i’m sure the seeds germinated, the necessity of a middle-stage growing period before setting the plants out in the cold world, and the opportunity it provides for writing spoof posts on my web-site.
      Plus, the babies gaze up at me with such love in their eyes and coo: ‘Finally, shoes what fit our feet.”

      I always tell ’em: “You had any doubt? Daddy buys you the right shoe for both feet.” (slogan of Dexter Shoe Co./ Dexter, Maine.

      Reply
        1. solberg73 Post author

          Ah yes, and their motto is “Shoes so waterproof they can both be left out in the rain! Not sure I believe them though, sounds like a sinister and gauche plot.

          Reply
  5. Roadkill Spatula

    I think a pneumatic nailer knockoff would be just as efficient and considerably smaller (although the feeder would be tricky). Maybe there are lessons to be learned from a refrigerator icemaker.

    My wife wants to know what you think of Moni Amarillio. She says his music brings her to tears without understanding a word.

    Reply
    1. solberg73 Post author

      Yes, I understand the emotional reaction to the chords and melody. his songs are classic ‘Saturday AM , everything is ok for now in the promised land; tunes heard on the radio when we-the-people need reassurance. Personally, i’m nuts, in that genre, on Matti Caspi. straight to the heart, his chord progressions, almost like Stevie wonder

      Reply

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