Priva and the TU Delft AgTech Institute have asked a TU Delft student team to develop a framework to classify the different levels of autonomy for growing crops in greenhouses. The framework provides a common taxonomy that aims to support the discourse between industry players on how to progress towards autonomous cultivation. This framework is intended to help the entire horticulture sector to map and further stimulate developments towards autonomous cultivation.
The increasing automation of processes in greenhouses seems inevitable considering the increasing demand for fresh, locally produced products and the scarcity of experienced growers and skilled labor.
Many horticultural automation companies are therefore engaged in developing solutions for autonomous cultivation. Technological solutions are currently being developed for various greenhouse operations, such as logistics, crop handling, daily control of cultivation, and greenhouse climate and cultivation strategy.
The journey towards autonomous cultivation is a gradual process. It will take years before we can talk of fully autonomous greenhouses and requires close collaboration between different industry players, such as growers, technology companies, and research institutes. The visions between industry players, however, on how to move forward can be different and tailored to individual interests. This makes it hard to align on what should be the next technological step(s) in the process towards fully autonomous cultivation.
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