Using robotics to save cost and prepare for a data driven future in vertical farming

We will cover the automation journey for vertical farms with a perspective on the historic development in the warehouse industry as well. We will look into benefits of robotics and how they not only can help save cost but also gather data, beneficial for both traceability and production optimization as well as increasing yields.

Interview with Christopher Weis Thomasen

What drives you?

I’m all about creating technology that makes a positive impact. Being part of solving operational issues in vertical farming is vastly important to me, as I can take part in growing the vertical farming industry as fast as possible and help advance sustainable agriculture.

Why should the delegate attend your presentation?

What does it mean when a farm is “fully automated” and how do we get there without breaking the bank. We will cover how robotics can create an impact in vertical farming and be a backbone in a data-driven operation.

What emerging technologies/trends do you see as having the greatest potential in the short and long run?

Looking from a top-level at vertical farming economics, there are certain areas that represent the biggest cost drivers. on the operational side we usually have labor as the biggest cost contributor and energy as the second largest. and on the Capex side, the LED lights represent a large chunk of that. So from a cost reduction perspective automating labor and improving LEDs are the most important areas in the long run. In the short run, I believe there is a massive potential in using simple data analysis to get to know your systems better and improve operations and also improving yields in the long run.

What kind of impact do you expect them to have?

In order to expand the vertical farming market, we need to make projects bankable and to a degree where investors can’t say no. To get there, we need to reduce cost and improve topline from the same square meter.

What are the barriers that might stand in the way?

There are certain political barriers for development in agriculture but from a practical perspective, the industry could benefit from a higher degree of standardization where systems do not have to be reinvented from new players.

Christopher Weis Thomasen is the CEO and co-founder of Seasony. He will speak at the 2021 edition of the Vertical Farming Conference.

Seasony develops an autonomous mobile robot that handles all the logistics in vertical farming, while increasing data collection. Seasonys mobile robot allow for numerous applications through an ecosystem of technology partners, allowing for advanced automation solutions within, crop monitoring, harvesting, pruning, pollinating etc.

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