Vertical Urban Agriculture - High Tech on the Low Episode 88
Max Knight, CEO and co-Founder at Urban Farms, has envisioned a new agricultural process, relying on robots and vertical space saving technology to meet our food needs in a localized capacity.
Farming needs a drastic face lift if we are to survive the effects of climate change and other environmental factors changing the way we grow food. Rising temperature, land degradation, and water scarcity are just a few of the challenges that farmers face. That is why Max Knight, CEO and Co-Founder of Urban Farms, believes that vertical urban agriculture and robotics could offer the solution we need to survive.
What is Vertical Agriculture?
Imagine walking down a busy city street and looking up to see fields of greenery towering above you. Ok, that might be a bit of a stretch from where we are are today, but that's the future Max Knight envisions for farming. While Max's specific innovation is likely be applied more to warehouse facilities, currently underusing their space, the fact is that vertical farming has the possibility to change the very way we relate to our local food ecosystem. And, to no surprise, vertical farming is already gaining serious traction in places like the UAE and even Japan.
Urban farms specifically tout vertical urban farming. This type of farming is a revolutionary way of growing crops in urban environments, utilizing space-saving technology to stack layers of crops on top of one another. "Vertical agriculture is essentially the process of growing crops in a way that optimizes the use of space," Max explains. With urban vertical farms being installed in local warehouses, for example, "it's a way of bringing farming closer to the consumer and reducing the carbon footprint of food production."
Robots Helping With Farming
One of the key components of Urban Farms' vertical agriculture system is robotics. The use of robots allows for more precise and optimized farming, resulting in higher yields and reduced labor costs. "Robots [in agriculture] are crucial because they can perform tasks with greater efficiency and accuracy," says Max. "They can work around the clock, and they can make sure that crops are grown under optimal conditions."
Robots can be programmed to handle a wide range of tasks, from planting to harvesting and, perhaps in the future, even packaging. They also can help reduce human error, which produces a lot of waste during the whole farming process. Moreover, down the line, robots can be equipped with sensors to monitor the health of crops and detect problems early on, allowing for more timely interventions. "By using robotics in farming, we make the whole grow process more efficient," Max explains, which is essential for creating a sustainable future.
Agritech Innovation is Key for Our Survival
As the global population continues to grow and climate change continues to threaten our current food production methods, the demand for new innovations will only increase. Agritech, the use of technology to improve agriculture, is necessary to meet this demand sustainably. Urban Farms' solution is a specifically unique one since it is trying to not only make the whole farming process more efficient, but it also localizes food production. Meaning that even transportation and storage costs are significantly reduced. "The world needs innovative solutions for the challenges we face in farming," says Max, "and by growing more food with less space and resources, we minimize environmental damage."
Vertical urban farming, robotics, there are just some examples of how agricultural technology can transform the future of farming. By embracing new technologies, we can create a more sustainable and resilient food system. "The potential for vertical urban agriculture is immense," Max adds and soon they hope to prove the benefits of this technology in their pilot programs that they believe will show the crucial role their solution will have in feeding the world in the years to come.
Innovation is key to tackling the challenges of modern agriculture. By embracing new technologies like vertical urban farming and robotics, we can create a more sustainable and efficient food system. Max Knight and Urban Farms are leading the way in this movement, demonstrating the potential for this technology to revolutionize the way we grow and distribute food. The future of agriculture is vertical.