In March 2017, we developed an idea for an optical sorter machine for green beans of coffee and any other small items, built around a Raspberry Pi 3 and machine learning software. The machine and all knowledge about it should be open source, and the whole idea is to give small-scale coffee farmers low-cost tools to reduce their manual labor, increase their earnings, and improve their own living situation.
This idea had drawn quite some interest, so we decided to make it a reality. As the machine and everything about it has to be open source, it does not matter at all who actually develops it. So we are happy that the Edgeryders organization picked up on our idea, and development is underway since January 2018 in their programme “OpenVillage Academy”. You can read more here on their website about this project, including a full technical feasibility study and plan, and the progress they make towards a functional machine.
And since it is an open source project, in principle everyone can join. So we are interested to hear from you if you want to collaborate on this open source project, also in case you want to tell us how you intend to utilize this machine (in your roastery, as a coffee farmer etc.) and what your budget would be to buy or build one.
You can register your interest to collaborate by filling the form below (without any obligations to contribute):
And while I’m inviting you: you’re also welcome to purchase “our” direct trade coffee from eight small coffee farmers in Hansapur, Gorkha, Nepal. We learned about the challenges of smallholder coffee farming when visiting them – see the video.