The Solution to the Safe and Healthy Fruit Problem: AI-Powered and Self-Sustaining Farms


Canadian researchers have designed a vertical farm that leverages modern technology to produce safe and sufficient fruit year-round, almost anywhere. Named Agrotunnel, this vertical farm ensures optimal growth conditions monitored by artificial intelligence and meets its electricity needs through special solar panels.

The Agrotunnel project aims to produce food on a larger scale by stacking crops inside a large unit, similar to vertical farms in Denmark, Dubai, and France. The research group conducts various tests on the farm to address the issue of year-round fruit production caused by climate change and severe weather conditions. In addition to moving the farm indoors to harvest fruit from hybrid vertical aeroponic and hydroponic systems year-round, the team harnesses solar power to meet the farm's electrical needs.

Agrotunnel features a fiber-reinforced polymer shell surrounding a fully enclosed room and proprietary semi-transparent photovoltaic panels developed by the WIRED (Western Innovation for Renewable Energy Distribution) initiative. These panels also help protect outdoor plants from extreme weather conditions. Moreover, the electricity provided by the panels is sufficient to power optimized LED grow lights, AI-assisted monitoring hardware, and water and heat pumps, enabling the experimental farm to operate off-grid.

The farm cultivates different types of fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, and grapes both indoors and outdoors. Outdoor plants are tested under different solar panel powers to find the most optimal conditions for their growth.
The farm setup designed by the researchers is modular, scalable, and adaptable to various locations and extreme climate conditions. It is also reported to have the potential to provide fresh produce to remote areas year-round without the need for long-distance road transportation of fruits and vegetables.

Reference: (Date of Access: 20.05.2024)