Is this AI-powered indoor farm the future of agriculture?


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AppHarvest’s greenhouse in Appalachia, Kentucky, is the biggest in the US. Using artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics, the company says it yields 30 times more per acre than open fields, while using 90% less water. Look through the gallery to find out more. AppHarvest

Using 300 sensors, the facility collects data from the plants, and growers can remotely monitor the microclimate to ensure that crops receive the ideal amount of nutrients and water. CNN

AI analyzes data from over 700,000 plants, and data is also collected by cameras attached to Virgo, AppHarvest’s AI-powered robot. AppHarvest

Virgo uses AI to assess which tomatoes are ripe enough to harvest, and then picks and prunes them with its robotic arm. AppHarvest

AppHarvest’s facility uses 100% recycled rainwater to grow its crops. Its 10-acre retention pond holds the equivalent of nearly 70 Olympic-sized swimming pools. AppHarvest

AppHarvest says that by using a combination of sunlight and LEDs it can produce up to 45 million pounds of tomatoes per year. AppHarvest

Technology could help reduce the environmental impact of farming. Global food production currently accounts for 80% of deforestation and 70% of all freshwater use, according to the WWF. CNN

AppHarvest says AI-powered greenhouses could be a solution to the growing demand for food as the global population heads closer towards 10 billion people by 2050. CNN

The company says it wants to minimize its carbon emissions by using renewable energy sources in the future. Brian PG Campbell

“Building technology to forecast, steer the crop, and create absolute stability in the food supply allows us to grow locally and control our food destiny. That’s the real opportunity with robotics and AI,” says Josh Lessing, AppHarvest’s chief technology officer. CNN

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