Hydroponics and robots for the future of agriculture


After the wheel, the plough, the tractor and pesticides, now it’s time for hydroponics and robots. Throughout history, agriculture has benefited from technological development more than any other sector: less work and more yield have made this industry grow and develop over time.

In the era of Industry 4.0, on the hills of Silicon Valley, Iron Ox has now come to life, a start-up that focuses on technology to revolutionise greenhouse farming. Unlike outdoor farming, this type of farming does not benefit from the use of large machinery and thus requires human labour. To optimize processes, hydroponics and robots have now come to its aid.

Hydroponics is a type of cultivation without soil so that plants lie on an inert substrate and are given water and highly nutritious inorganic compounds. Iron Ox has taken steps so that the plant nutrition process and the transfer of plants is fully automated. How? By using robots! Once grown, for example, these plants need to be moved elsewhere to have more room to grow and this is done by a robotic arm: precise, delicate, automated.

The robots are also equipped with cameras that can recreate a 3D image of the plant. What is more, the company is also working on machine learning algorithms that will be used to understand whether the plant is growing as it should or is suffering from a lack of light or nutrients. The future of agriculture is now!