hey guys - the startup (fenome) in its infancy has had a couple gaffes (oops) and obv communications is one of them. You are correct that once we sorted out a name we changed the blog post to reflect up to date information in an effort of transparency. Fenome, like any startup, has applied for the TM of their company name to protect the use of their name, this is standard even in open source. ( In fact Food+Future Colab (which includes PolyBot) is no more, Target shut it down last week so I should update that.
Fenome is gearing up to produce open source kits. Its harder than imagined (esp advanced components like chillers and lights not currently commercially available). The prototypes you’ve seen are exactly that, 1st run prototypes (off the open source plans on our wiki), and as you can guess are crazy expensive and not fully functional, yet. Fenome team is trying to run them, bug fix (as @gordonb mentioned in the open source git repo), upgrade and sort out a reasonable manufacturing process so people can get the kits if they want them. The lights are GE prototypes aquired from hort americas (who is not yet commercially selling them because they are proto’s) the chiller is from kipp kits (also not currently commercially available due to same issues). In the absence of GE protos there are many many many options available commercially that will work, look for 200 micromol per meter squared (leafy greens) or 400 for flowering and color in the photosynthetically active range, if thats too much just get a fluorescent t5 set from a local hydro store, it wont be optimized but it will work and would be cool to learn about through the community. in the case of the chiller, if your bot is indoors, you can passively cool for now or create your own evaporative cooler which would be a tremendous add to the community.
Fenome was based in Utah but after some development we all think its better to be based in Cambridge and is in the process of moving (hence the lack of communications strategy). The website was also proto and included kits for sale (which frankly they arent ready to offer yet) and an info gathering tool for companies that might be interested in running experiments in them (we think thats a pretty cool idea for everyone in the community). It was not supposed to be live so thanks for pointing that out, I just requested we take it back offline until dev is complete. The leadership of fenome, as with all startups, is also changing but I am currently on the board (like I said I would be in our post) and trying to steer things in the right direction. Ultimately it was started to satisfy a community need of a solid open source kit of parts for personal food computers. @gordonb @jake from the team at MIT have jumped on board to also help and now have a reduced amount of time at the lab (conveyed in the blog I think?)
Thanks @Webb.Peter @spaghet @gordonb for jumping in to help explain things. Sorry to @wsnook @juanmak @ceav2b for the lack of comms, doing our best over here.
Any ideas about what I should do to keep the community up to date? I think blogs are too involved for little updates but would be willing to go that route if it helps.