Robot-reared vegetables to hit US market

Vegetable greens grown entirely by robots are about to hit the market in the United States.

Californian start-up Iron Ox is an automated farming system which uses robotics to grow plants hydroponically.

According to a report from The Verge website, Iron Ox has taken the first step in selling to the public, with robot-reared leafy greens now available in a single outlet in California. 

It said it's offering three varieties of greens at the San Carlos branch of Bianchini's Market, a family-owned grocery store that specialises in local and organic produce.

A computer automates light, water, nutrients,  to help raise the seedlings into full-grown plants.
A computer automates light, water, nutrients, to help raise the seedlings into full-grown plants. Photo credit: Iron Ox

The robotic farms works with an automated porter delivering plants on a pallet, while a robotic arm is capable of planting seedlings. A computer then automates light, water, nutrients, and more to help raise the seedlings into full-grown plants.

While the system is mostly automated, humans hands still need to pick the produce and package it. 

Iron Ox said among the advantages of robotic farming is the ability to offer fresh and organic produce at a reduced footprint.

In March, a Hawke's Bay orchard became the first in the world to use a robotic harvester for a commercial apple harvest.

T&G Global apples (orginally Turners and Growers) launched the robotic harvester with US-based technology partner Abundant Robotics.

It said the use of the harvester was a significant milestone in the evolution of the global apple industry.

Newshub.

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