What’s so awesome about Factorization’s servos? Well pretty much everything, and neptunepink isn’t even done with them, yet. Even what has been implemented so far has tremendous potential to make Factorization not only one of the most imaginative and satisfying “tech” mods out there, but also one of the most powerful and versatile. While sockets and servos have a steep learning curve, once you’ve got down the basics you can do quite a lot with them.
One part of Minecraft where Factorization’s servos and sockets offer a new and interesting set of solutions is in farming. Lacerators can harvest anything and, even more importantly, when powered they are triggered into action simply by the appearance in front of them of something to lacerate. This makes for a very simple solution for pumpkin and melon farming.
Here I have as single pumpkin plant and a single melon plant. I use fences to make it so that the plants can only produce fruit on the side facing the lacerators. These lacerators do not need to move, so they are simply mounted to a socket next to an inventory (here, a barrel), which is a lot less expensive than a servo. The lacerators simply wait, dormant, until a pumpkin or a melon appears in front of it. At that point the lacerator springs into action, breaks the fruit, and deposits it into its adjacent inventory. This simple design can be optimized this way:
The pumpkins can be pumped out of the chest and sent into a farm sorting system. Since the lacerator harvests the pumpkin as soon as it appears, it doesn’t matter that all four pumpkin plants can only produce fruit on one central space.
Another crop that can be harvested automatically with a lacerator, this time attached to a servo, is sugar cane/reeds.
By placing a servo rail line immediately beside the second level of the reeds and powering the rail, a servo equipped with a lacerator will rove back and forth, breaking the second level reed almost as soon as it appears. This design can be extended indefinitely to make a reed farm that produces a lot of reeds very quickly. It is important to make sure that your servo is set to the slowest speed (using an instruction plate). This way, the lacerator has time to build up enough speed to break the reed before the servo passes by. The way you get the reeds from the servo is simply by using a vanilla hopper below one part of the servo rail. While it probably isn’t strictly necessary, you can set up a little trap instruction that will keep a servo in place until it finishes unloading its reeds like this:
A Redstone comparator next to the hopper turns on as soon as the hopper has anything in it. This powers the stone front of it, turning off the Redstone torch, de-powering the stone above it and the piece of Redstone beside that stone block. This makes the trap instruction (on the rail above the hopper) become active until the hopper is completely empty.
Another step up in complexity is a servo wheat farm. Here is a 7×7 servo wheat farm I constructed:
Here you have two steps to take care of: harvesting and planting. This requires two servos, one equipped with a lacerator and the second with a robotic arm. Robotic arms, when they receive a Redstone signal, essentially right click an item from its internal inventory (attached to a servo) or from an adjacent inventory (attached to a socket) into the world, making it useful for seed and sapling planting purposes. A full explanation of this setup really needs its own post, so this will have to wait until next time.
Finally, it is possible, if complicated and not exceptionally elegant, to make a self-maintaining tree farm use a single servo with a lacerator. Here is a picture of what I have done, but, once again, a full explanation is going to have to wait for its own post.
I hope you can see that Factorization servos and sockets are well worth the time and effort it takes to get to understand them. Be sure to check back in the following days for a full write up of the wheat farm and the tree farm, both of which are exceedingly satisfying to build.