Tags: japan | robot | farm | automate | seeding

Japan Robot Farm Automates Everything but Planting Seeds

Image: Japan Robot Farm Automates Everything but Planting Seeds
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By    |   Wednesday, 03 Feb 2016 10:25 AM

Japan soon will have a robot farm with automated systems to perform almost every task, including watering seeds, harvesting crops, monitoring carbon dioxide levels and adjusting lighting and heating.

The agriculture technology company Spread, based in Kyoto, said its new robot farm will increase productivity by 25 percent, cutting cost for customers while the machines optimize the growth of crops, reported Wired magazine.

Spread said its new robot farm expects to be completely in operation by 2017 and could produce more than 30,000 heads of lettuce a day. Wired noted that Spread expects to boost that number to 500,000 heads within five years.

The company told The Guardian that its pesticide-free lettuces will have more beta-carotene – an antioxidant – than typical farm-grown lettuce.

"There are water and food shortages due to extreme weather events accompanied by the increasing global population," said a Spread release last year. "Amid these problems, Spread has effectively managed energy through the vegetable factory business and has been working to lay the foundation for a more secure and sustainable society."

The company told The Guardian that the 4,400-square-meter factory will used LED lighting that will allow it to cut electricity cost by one-third while 98 percent of the water used will be recycled.

Spread said its robot farm's produce will be grown in vertical stacks.

J.J. Price, global marketing manager for Spread, said human farmers will still have a hand in the project.

"The seeds will still be planted by humans, but every other step, from the transplanting of young seedlings to larger spaces as they grow to harvesting the lettuces, will be done automatically," said Price.

Spread said its ultimate goals are to build more robot farms in Japan and then internationally.

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Japan soon will have a robot farm with automated systems to perform almost every task, including watering seeds, harvesting crops, monitoring carbon dioxide levels and adjusting lighting and heating.
japan, robot, farm, automate, seeding
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2016-25-03
Wednesday, 03 Feb 2016 10:25 AM
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