Utilizing robotics can change the entire face of agriculture as we know it today. Imagine a vertical indoor farm that yields significant amounts of high-quality food, with just a fraction of the land and resources of a traditional farm. This is not a scene from a sci-fi movie – it is an incredibly fast-approaching realty.
Indoor farming facilities control all environmental factors so that fresh produce can be grown in any location, 365 days a year. While produce from traditional farms is limited to certain seasons, indoor temperature-controlled environments are fully productive year-round. This isn’t an entirely new concept, as vertical farms have been tested and commercially used for almost a decade. However, utilizing robots to manage the farms is the logical next step in agriculture technology, as it benefits both the people and the produce.
For the Benefit of the Farmer
Current vertical farms are limited to the height that people can reach, and several commercialized ones rely on the use of tall ladders or lifts. This is a potential safety hazard for workers who have to regularly access the trays at the top levels of the vertical structures every time they have to inspect or harvest the produce. The use of a robotic system, however, eliminates this danger by using patented mechatronic technology to reach the highest levels so that humans don’t have to.
Delegating the physical tasks to robotics also promotes human workers to a higher level of education, training, and capabilities – leaving jobs like sensor monitoring, data management, marketing, and accounting to the people working on the farm.
Some might argue that people have been growing their own food for thousands of years, and it is wrong to remove that personal human touch from farming. But when you look at it from a food safety perspective, it is the absolute right thing to do. A closed environment removes all potential points of contamination from the growing and harvesting process, therefore protecting both the plants and millions of consumers from bacteria such as Listeria, Salmonella, or E. coli.
For the Benefit of the Plants
Contrary to popular belief, plants don’t actually need sunlight and rainfall to grow – they just need light and water. In an indoor farm, carefully-programmed automation systems ensure that each kind of produce receives the perfect amount of each element. Sensors are used to constantly monitor the produce as it grows, so the environment never wavers from the ideal. Indoor environments lack the external variables of bad weather, pests, and drought brought on by nature – thus creating a growing environment for produce that is actually better than what is available outside.
The produce is completely free of pesticides and chemicals, the growth medium is sterilized, the air is filtered, the water is purified to 0ppm, and temperature and lighting are provided for maximum product production. These optimal conditions result in a better-tasting product with a quality level that far exceeds anything “organic”.
See It In Motion
So what would that process look like? Watch the video below:
AgriFacture is a family-owned business that has spent the last decade developing cutting-edge methodologies to change the entire dynamics of agriculture. AgriFacture’s model of controlled environmental agriculture allows consumers to enjoy local, fresh, pesticide-free, nutrient-rich vegetables, fruits, mushrooms and herbs year-round, regardless of where they live.
AgriFacture currently utilizes a 10,000-square-foot research and development facility in Flat Rock, NC and plans to build an even larger 40,000-square-foot indoor farm. Unlike other commercial vertical farms on the market today, AgriFacture changes the dynamic by utilizing robotics and automation to control the entire process – from seed to fork.
It is our mission to utilize indoor vertical farming systems to provide the highest-quality produce to people around the world at an affordable price. Traditional agricultural methods that humanity has relied on for thousands of years are not going to cut it in the future, and there is a huge need for fresh produce that has not been doused in chemicals and then spent 15 days in the back off a truck before it is sold to consumers. The AgriFacture system is the solution to this problem.