There is a global trend going on towards a healthier lifestyle. As a result the demand for healthy food is increasing. At the same time resources are becoming more scarce worldwide, creating the demand for more resource efficient cultivation methods.
In order to comply with both demands in the future, the Autonomous Greenhouse Challenge was set up. Five teams are competing to remotely grow the most kilograms of cherry tomatoes, of good quality, with minimum use of resources.
One of these teams is Team AuTomatoes, consisting of consultants, data scientists, engineers, researchers, and students from TU Delft, Van der Hoeven Horticultural Projects, KeyGene, and Hoogendoorn Growth Management. Currently the Autonomous Greenhouse Challenge is well on its way and the results for team AuTomatoes continue to be promising. But how did they get there?
The team started with the growth plan they developed in the preparation phase. Based on the incoming data and their collective knowledge the team is constantly adjusting their growth strategy in order to maximize the results. The data is used to adjust algorithms and develop different and new techniques, in order to create more optimal greenhouse controls, and thus more optimal growth conditions and greenhouse climate.
According to Hoogendoorn data analyst and AuTomatoes team member Evripidis Papadopoulos this is working very well. ”We started with a robust strategy and became flexible based on the plants’ feedback, making our strategy agile. We constantly work to empower the plants and maintain the plant balances in order to maximize quality, quantity, taste and resource use efficiency.”
Coloring of the cherry tomatoes in the AuTomatoes greenhouse.