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Japan Opens in 2017 World’s 1st Robot-run Farm

Japan Opens in 2017 World’s 1st Robot-run Farm
Robots
A Japanese Plant physiologist Shigeharu Shimamura has also recently set up an industrial-scale farm inside a factory in Japan. It is nearly half the size of a football field (25,000 sq ft) and uses 17,500 LED lights spread over 18 cultivation racks, reaching 16 levels high.

A Japanese firm said Monday it would open the world’s first fully automated farm with robots handling almost every step of the process, from watering seedlings to harvesting crops.

Kyoto-based “Spread” said the indoor grow house will start operating by the middle of 2017 and produce 30,000 heads of lettuce a day.

It hopes to boost that figure to half a million lettuce heads daily within five years. The farm, measuring about 4,400m2, will have floor-to-ceiling shelves where the produce is grown.

“Seed planting will still be done by people, but the rest of the process, including harvesting, will be done (by industrial robots),” Spread company official Koji Morisada told AFP.

The move to robot labour would chop personnel costs by about half and knock energy expenses down by nearly one third, Morisada added.

The pesticide-free lettuce will also have more beta carotene than other farm-grown lettuce, the company said.

Robot-obsessed Japan has repeatedly turned to automated workers to fill labour shortages that are projected to get worse as the country rapidly ages.



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