Simulating a FarmBot

Some users may wish to simulate a FarmBot without using a real FarmBot. Usually, this is done for the sake of software testing and development. FarmBot currently does not have a simulator, but it is possible to run a FarmBot without any motors attached. This means you can simulate FarmBot operations in software using only a Raspberry Pi, an Arduino, plus a few other supporting components.

FarmBot v1.2 is the easiest model to simulate because it uses off-the-shelf components and has a smaller form factor and lower power requirements than v1.4+ models. Even though v1.2 is not our latest model, it will respond to the same software commands as a v1.6+ device and is fully forward compatible with the Web App.

Required Materials

  • A MicroSD card
  • A MicroSD card reader
  • A Raspberry Pi 3B or 3B+ and relevant USB power cables (~$35). DO NOT USE DIFFERENT RASPBERRY PI MODELS. They will not work.
  • An Arduino Mega and relevant USB power cables (~$17).
  • The latest FarmBot OS image file


  1. Create a new web app account specifically for the “headless” device. Do not apply power to the Raspberry Pi yet. Do not attempt to re-use accounts that you used with other non-headless devices.
  2. Select “v1.2” for the device hardware in the new web app account.
  3. Flash the latest version of FarmBot OS to the SD Card.
  4. Insert the SD card into the Raspberry Pi and apply power.
  5. Complete WiFi configuration steps and wait for the device to come online.
  6. (important) Disable encoders from the device settings page. This will allow for smooth on-screen movement in the Web App when simulating a device.
  7. The device is ready for simulation.