What is community supported engineering?

I’ve said we want this project to become a community supported project. Here I want to briefly explain what that means to me.

The gist of it all is that we want to fund this project through donations from followers online, through something like Patreon or Open Collective. We take inspiration from Godot Engine, which currently pulls in $14k per month on patreon, and Blender, which pulls in a whopping $157k per month! Another great example is Octoprint at $7k per month from Patreon among other sources.

This is not a common type of organization, and these are a few very successful projects, so we don’t expect to hit those numbers any time soon. But that is the kind of project I am talking about.

It’s hard to do! But worthwhile things are often difficult. There are however many benefits if we succeed with this model:

  • We don’t need big investors who will want to force a high return on the project. I think in many cases these profit seeking measures can make the product worse - charging customers for their own data, or making things more expensive to repair for example.
  • We get to stay open source. If we push forward a successful open source farming robot, the technology will be much cheaper than if the only options were patent-protected. This will lead to much faster growth of this technology and cheaper healthier food the world over.
  • Staying open source and letting this technology spread means more opportunity for growth of regenerative agriculture, a critical component in the fight against climate change.
  • In the for-profit model, you quickly feel the need to go after large farms, who are less interested in regenerative agriculture due to market pressures. We would rather research the best regenerative methods and sell our robots to small and medium farms.
  • We can share our research and data with all, and many companies can use our design as a starting point for their own products.
  • We get to be part of a wonderful community of great people.

Before we can even be accepted to Open Collective, we need a following. So if you are reading this, please sign up for an account on this site and subscribe to our youtube channel (and click the “bell” icon when you subscribe).

Thank you!