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Ronald Hoek, Blue Radix:

"AI with a human touch is the golden combination"

Cultivation management in the greenhouse is becoming increasingly complex. How do you turn this challenge into opportunities? Blue Radix rises to the challenge and adds artificial intelligence to the daily decision making in the greenhouse. “The solutions based on algorithms provide growers with a digital brain for their greenhouse,” says Ronald Hoek, director of Blue Radix.

In recent years, various data platforms have been set up. As a grower you can sometimes no longer see the forest for the trees. “We are not a data platform. We develop digital algorithms that go to work for the grower. The algorithms sit in the grower's chair and press the buttons on the climate computer. They draw conclusions based on data lines. For example, how the light can be optimised. The grower no longer has to press the button,” Ronald explains.

Ronald Hoek, director and co-founder of Blue Radix

Room for cultivation strategy
The system not only pushes the button but also does the thinking. The algorithm will work with the various data sources, such as climate measurement boxes, weather information and any available sensors. That saves a grower a lot of time but also a lot of thinking. Ronald: “Because this is taken over from the grower, you can pay more attention to the plant. It gives you room to think about your cultivation strategy. You set the goals for this strategy, the algorithms then go to work on these goals for you. ”

Fix the problem
“To win a grower's trust, it is necessary to add value and solve the grower's problem,” says Ronald. He sees a growing shortage in the number of people who can manage well operationally. "To solve that problem, you need automation."

A golden combination
In the start-up phase, the grower learns to work with algorithms. Of course that takes some getting used to. “We get to work with the grower. The algorithms calculate climate profiles and setpoints, which we then discuss. In order to achieve a strategic goal, it is important to discuss all matters thoroughly and to establish the cultivation strategy in a structured manner. A crop advisor guides the grower during the first two months.”

After the first two months, there is an Autonomous Greenhouse Manager who looks over the shoulder. “That gives you confidence, you can turn to this operator with all your questions or concerns. AI software with a human touch is the golden combination.”

Data flows in autonomous cultivation

Vision technology
The algorithms work with different data. They obtain this data from, among other places, the climate computer and weather stations. We also look at the data that comes from the cultivation strategy. Ronald: “Sometimes we also look at data from sensors. Together with the grower, we determine whether this data can be valuable. In the future, this data will become increasingly important, I expect. Using vision technology, the algorithms can work even more focused in the future. ”

Blue Radix focuses on the international and national market. “Every now and then I no longer know what time zone I am using. We are in contact with people from all over the world. Ten Dutch companies have now stepped on board and we are working on 5 new projects abroad. It is a challenge to phase everything properly. Quality always comes first,” Ronald concludes.

For more information:
Blue Radix
[email protected]

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