Following on from the launch of their Jelly SDK, APIs and Autogrow Cloud platform last year, the Autogrow Lab was set up as a collaborative environment for continued research and development of control systems for indoor agriculture.
“The industry is a fragmented hardware landscape with software and data technology being introduced into the mix. Our goal is to bring much of that together in an open platform, add in the science of plant biology and create a space for discussion, invention and pushing the boundaries,” explains Chief Technology Officer Jeffrey Law.
“Being virtual ensures that anyone, anywhere and at any time can join in the discussion add to the research or utilize our applications to create next generation ideas. The industry is moving incredibly fast but a lot of that is happening behind the scenes. We think by creating a collaboration space we can ensure the entire agtech community will benefit from the increased pace.”
Users will have access to Autogrow’s APIs and SDKs for control systems, technical documentation, compiled research and be able to contribute to tech blogs. The Lab will have a strong focus on the marriage of tech and data with plant science.
“To really understand what’s required in different environments such as greenhouses, protected cropping and plant farms, you have to look at the plants from a biological perspective, then adjust the environment to suit,” says Dr Tharindu Weeraratne, Director of Crop Science and Agronomy.
The Lab is open to anyone with an interest in agtech with a focus on transparency and creating a repository for education and sharing advances with the community.
“I was asked recently whether I’d be afraid someone would create a better control system by using our API. My answer to that was – I hope so. I hope that people start creating better, smarter systems for indoor ag which in turn drives everyone to work harder,” says Mr Law.
“Anyone who’s afraid of change or new ideas need to step aside and make way for those that want to innovate and improve our industry and in turn keep everyone on their toes - us included.”