Cutting edge Farmbot is set for showcase at Octavia Hill’s Birthplace House in Wisbech this weekend

PUBLISHED: 16:17 04 July 2017 | UPDATED: 16:17 04 July 2017

Sowing the seeds of technology with Farmbot at the Octavia Hill's Birthplace House in Wisbech.

Sowing the seeds of technology with Farmbot at the Octavia Hill's Birthplace House in Wisbech.


A cutting edge technology that is set to take the grind out of growing is to be showcased at Octavia Hill’s Birthplace House in Wisbech on Saturday (July 8).

The Farmbot, which is new to the United Kingdom and is being developed and distributed in this country by TVA G&C Limited of Downham Market, is the centrepiece of a technology showcase at a free open day at the museum.

A highlight of the day will be a talk about the future of technology by Julian Snape, of TVA G&C Ltd, who worked for Apple UK in the early days of computing and is a co-founder of London Futurists, whose membership has mushroomed from half a dozen people gathering in a public house in the mid 1990s to 6,500 people today.

Mr Snape, a business automation technology specialist, explained that the radical new Farmbot – which will be on show in the garden at the museum – is a gantry system currently designed for domestic use and operating over a plant bed measuring three metres by one and a half metres.

The device picks up plants and seeds, as well as checking the soil for moisture, acidity and alkalinity, and waters individual seeds and plants.

The bot can even detect the difference between a plant and a weed, enabling it to do the weeding for you.

Although the present model is pitched at gardeners, a larger-scale version is being developed which will be suitable for small commercial operations and will be of interest to a wider constituency of people who grow under glass.

The open day at the museum at 7 South Brink, Wisbech, will also provide the opportunity to meet local authors at a book-signing session.

Author Anthony Carter will speak about his days photographing the giants of motor racing, including Fangio, Graham Hill and John Surtees, before high security measures intervened.

An exhibition of about 70 of his photographs will be featured in the Long Room.

The open day runs from 1pm to 4.30pm, with last admissions at 4pm. Mr Snape will speak at 2pm and Mr Carter at 3pm. All welcome, but children should be accompanied by an adult.

• Octavia Hill (1838-1912) was a woman ahead of her time. She pioneered affordable housing and a founder of modern social work.

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