Farm Turns to Robots to Fill Labor Needs

AppHarvest is a company that develops high-tech indoor farms designed to grow non-GMO, chemical pesticide-free produce. It has three sites in Kentucky where it claims to use up to 90% less water than open-field agriculture and only rainwater.

In recent years, they have collected the world’s largest data set of tomato images, according to the company, enabling them to identify more than 50 varieties across varying stages of maturity, says Keller, the company’s senior vice president of software applications.

Keller says the company already has the fifth-generation robot working on a farm in Europe.

Post any story on social media regarding replacing human beings in production agriculture with robots or technology, and it is met with mixed emojis — some bright yellow smiles, others burnt red frown.

The company is developing universal robotic harvesters to provide a baseline of harvesting to come alongside human crop specialists, allowing them to focus on complex tasks.

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