AeroFarms and Nokia Bell Labs unveiled a multi-year partnership on Aug. 5 to utilize technology to identify and track plant interactions.
AeroFarms will contribute its commercial growing expertise, comprehensive environmental controls, an agriculture-focused data platform, and machine vision core foundation. Nokia Bell Labs, the industrial research arm of Nokia, will contribute its autonomous drone control and orchestration systems, private wireless networks, robust image and sensor data pipelines, and artificial intelligence-enabled mobile sensor technologies.
AeroFarms and Nokia Bell Labs began working together last year and, per the announcement, are now ready to scale their system AeroFarms’ crop portfolio and all future indoor vertical farms, including the ones being built in Danville, Va. and Abu Dhabi.
“With Nokia Bell Labs, we have developed the next-generation system that can image every plant every day in a cost-effective way at scale. This level of detailed imaging and insights helps us be better farmers by monitoring our plant biology dynamically and allowing us to course-correct as needed to ensure the highest level of quality all year round,” said CEO David Rosenberg. “When I watch the drones autonomously imaging our plants, I am blown away by how this truly represents the power of harnessing leading-edge technologies and bringing brilliant problem solvers together from diverse groups to grow the best plants possible.”
Nokia Bell Labs’ machine vision technology has enabled AeroFarms to capture data down to the level of individual plants, using leaf size segmentation, quantification, and pixel-based scanning to identify consistency and variation beyond what’s perceptible by the human eye.
The combined system provides intelligent industrial analytics capabilities as an integrated service that can be deployed quickly and efficiently anywhere, according to the announcement.