Lettuce Arigato Mr. Roboto: Japanese Robot Farms in Full Force

By Paris Finnie 

Japan is on the verge of opening an almost entirely robotic run farm. The mechanic agricultural farm will be growing lettuce for the Japanese market. Human involvement aside from initial construction is reserved to planting the seeds and everything after; Watering, trimming, re-planting young seedlings, and harvesting will be automated.

Before you jump to a visual of a bipedic crash dummy look a like, let us describe the farm as followed: The lettuce will be transported by conveyer belts, and with custom made robotic arms the heads are able to be transferred to shipment buckets or new soil without harm. The factory then using LED lighting and water that is 98% recyclable, Expect to boost lettuce production from 21k to 50k heads a day in the first few years. Spread, the company behind the technology foresee that after roughly five years in application to boost that number from 50k to 500k.

Many fear within the induction of robotic technology that jobs are expected to dwindle. However, the firm has been very animate about their intentions to stimulate mutualism with robots and humans. Especially as the working farmer demographic raises to an average age of 65 years of age. Other companies have sought to address the dwindling work force by creating “Muscle Suits” for aging care workers and farmers. The suits will help the farmers in their craft, but perhaps having the technology responsible for the busy work can add efficacy to production. Shibuya Seiki a robotic firm was able to build mechanisms that could pick ripe strawberries at the rate of one per every eight seconds. Panasonic has been using cameras and image sensor to determine ripe tomatoes and pick them at a rate of one every twenty seconds. The future of farming is upon us.

Within the controlled environment and logarithms to determine infinitesimal inaccuracies, there is a huge expectation for success as Japan spearheads this new venture.


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