Ecobloom's technology will collect data and help maximize cultivation in the greenhouse project. Now their CEO tells us why their AI system means better sustainability and about their plans to set up in Boden.
The three-dimensional graphics dance on the screen. Like a wild aurora borealis in the starry sky on a crisp January evening. The colours change in time to the video. Red, yellow, green, blue and purple. What we see is a timelapse video from a growing zone in a greenhouse in southern Sweden, where Ecobloom's technology is set up. Green means that the plant conditions are optimal, purple means low photosynthesis, and red means that the plant is stressed.
Hamza Qadoumi, CEO and co-founder, of the company Ecobloom, removes the presentation and logs onto a website. "Here you can see the greenhouse live", he says.
Suddenly, all 1,000 square meters of the greenhouse appear on the TV screen. Every plant. As the graphics in the presentation, the colors show how the plant is doing. Hamza hovers his mouse over some areas and gets information about air values, carbon dioxide levels, temperature, water quality and how the plant is developing.
"This overview is impossible to get when you're there. Then you have to physically walk around and look at everything. But by creating a digital twin, we can see each section in a virtual environment and there we can analyze and study every aspect of the plant's life cycle", says Hamza Qadoumi.
Inside the greenhouse, sensors and high-tech cameras are set up to collect information that is impossible to perceive with the human senses. For example, by measuring photosynthesis. They have also developed a data management system using artificial intelligence (AI), which means that the system learns to interpret the information it collects.
"In simple terms, we connect the entire crop to the cloud, where we analyze every aspect of the plant's life cycle and, using AI, we can make intelligent calculations and give growers insight into how best to optimize their food production."
Profitable yet sustainable
The company is currently working with one of Sweden's largest indoor growers and their technology is helping the company reduce wastage, get a clearer picture of whether any part of the greenhouse is more conducive to growing in, or whether plants are becoming stressed in a particular area at a particular time of day.
The technology can also predict when it is optimal to harvest and detect diseases and pests at an early stage before they have time to spread to more plants.
"This not only makes the whole growing process more sustainable but also more profitable as the system helps the grower save resources. Personally, I think it's really cool that we've developed something that both increases efficiency for the customer and is more sustainable for society. The two parameters don't always go together," says Hamza Qadoumi.
He also stresses that although the technology may seem advanced, it is easy to use and can be adapted to the size of the farm and for all types of crops
"The system can be used in any climate-controlled environment. Both greenhouses and vertical indoor cultivations. For example, we have our own vertical indoor growing system that we use to test different conditions and teach the system to identify effects on the plant.