A new company based in California is hoping to drastically reshape our food supply in the coming years. Plenty uses vertical farming to lower its land use per crop and robots to help grow and harvest the crops. The results so far have been impressive for the young company and they see a lot of growth on the horizon. One of the benefits of vertical farming is that food is grown closer to where it’s consumed so the carbon footprint of transporting it is basically null.
The company has signed a deal to supply 430 stores with fresh produce in the States while also getting hundreds of millions of investment from various sources. The future of this vertical farming company is one to watch!
Plentyâ€™s climate-controlled indoor farm has rows of plants growing vertically, hung from the ceiling. There are sun-mimicking LED lights shining on them, robots that move them around, and artificial intelligence (AI) managing all the variables of water, temperature, and light, and continually learning and optimizing how to grow bigger, faster, better crops. These futuristic features ensure every plant grows perfectly year-round. The conditions are so good that the farm produces 400 times more food per acre than an outdoor flat farm.
New surfboard sized robots are riding the waves and doing science! They’re autonomous robots called Wave Gliders and they are being used to monitor shipping and more importantly they are tracking information on the oceans that have traditionally been too costly to gather.
Researchers are warming up to the technology too. NOAA is testing a Wave Glider named Alex in the ocean north of Puerto Rico this fall, hoping to gather crucial hurricane data to improve forecasting. Meanwhile, the Ocean Tracking Network is using gliders to track fishâ€”a difficult task. Unlike aquatic animals that breathe, fish donâ€™t surface often (maybe never) to ping tracking satellites.
You’ve seen/read I, Robot …well everyone talks about doing it, but now someone’s actually doing something about it. Our robots, in the future, are going to have ethics! There’s something very “Star Trek” about this story – very “Data”. Or in this case Alex Hubo.
Building green has been mentioned here before, and now there are buildings that are green and move. Buildings can be a lot more efficient and sustainable with this new technology, decreasing energy consumption.
“Shape-changing envelopes offer architects the ability to produce buildings that condition themselves in very simple, natural and sustainable ways,” says Sterk. “They enable buildings to be conceived of as systems that change shape to improve the way people live.”
Sterk said there are other advantages. Imagine a high-rise tower that braces itself against sudden strong winds by distributing stresses. Or a home that shakes the snow from its roof.
A new robot suit has been made that can increase the wearers power by up to 10 times their natural muscle strength. It’s called HAL or Hybrid Assisted Limb and is being perfected at the University of Tsukuba in Japan. The suit is powered on command signals from the brain being transmitted to musles and in some cases works faster than the human brain does when reacting to such signals.
This technology can potentially help thousands of people including those with muscular disabilities, people with injuries and the elderly. Not to mention the possibilities for superheros. Want your own robot suit?? Put aside about $20,000 and wait a few years for it to come on to the World market. Before you know it people will be robot wrestling all over the place!