Technology start-up Agbotic, based in the Potsdam, N.Y., has been testing a prototype of its agricultural robot in smaller greenhouses for the last year. The company is now building a 15,000-square-foot greenhouse to further test the robot’s capabilities. The robot runs on tracks that extend the length of the greenhouse and spans a 52-foot width. It automatically waters row-crop vegetables as needed and tills the soil for weed prevention.
The robot uses web-based sensors to gather soil temperature and moisture content data to determine when to water, according to the “Agbotic Building Greenhouse To Ready For Rollout Of Agricultural Robot” article in the Watertown Daily Times (bit.ly/agbotic). Metal spades attached to its frame turn over the soil to keep weeds from taking root.
Plans are to have the greenhouse up and running this month, with the first harvest in October. Agbotic expects to produce 2,000 pounds of food per month at its larger greenhouse, says Agbotic owner John Gaus, who was quoted in the article.
The company plans to sell its vegetables to distribution companies in New York City, and will partner with Kevin L. Richardson, coordinator of the North Country Innovation Hot Spot at Clarkson University, Potsdam, N.Y., to find markets in Manhattan.