Company News

Introducing Max: our Filling Robot

Introducing Max: our Filling Robot image

We would like to introduce you to Max, another member of our robotic greenhouse crew. 

Max is a filling station robot is designed to deliver and monitor each module’s water, nutrient mix, and pH levels with speed and precision. Working in tandem and contact-free with our autonomous mobile robot Grover, this lets us be fast, efficient, and food-safe. The process starts by Max filling each 6’ x6’ plant module with a varietal-specific mix of water and nutrients in under two minutes, and as the plants grow, Max is a key part of how we monitor and refill to provide exactly what the plants need. This is a key part of our growing system that enables our plant scientists to analyze data from thousands of modules to optimize plant yield, expand growth cycles, and maximize crop quality. The result is delicious, nutritious, locally sourced fruits and vegetables with substantially lower environmental impacts.

A Formula 1 Pit Stop 

Our robots are the Formula 1 pit crew of greenhouses. Grover transports empty plant modules across acres of greenhouse space to dock and be filled or refilled as needed. Max’s system uses sensors to precisely fill the required volume and nutrient mix, and sees these modules again throughout the plant’s growth cycle to analyze and top-off water and nutrients. During these checkups, we take small samples from each module – now weighing about 1,000 pounds – into a reservoir equipped with sensors to measure the nutrient content and pH of the water. Max then adds exactly what’s needed to match its target settings. When Max is done, Grover takes the plant module back to its respective place in the greenhouse, and rolls off to get the next one.

We get our fill from Data

The data that we collect is part of what allows our plant science team to better understand how plants are consuming water and nutrients, and at what rate. Our plant science team uses this growing database to inform optimization strategies. For example, when Grover brings a module in for a checkup, the amount of water and nutrient content may vary based on different conditions, and the team may see a trend that provides valuable information on water or nutrient usage for each plant varietal. This integration into our proprietary closed-loop greenhouse system enables the growth of an already robust agricultural database. By using artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, and hydroponics, we are changing the agriculture sector to be more efficient while eliminating waste and other environmental impacts. 

Iron Ox profile image

Iron Ox

We believe the best food is grown locally and recently. Our growing facilities use advanced robotics to cultivate perfect, nutritious produce by giving each plant the specific attention it needs, and then getting it on a store shelf nearby within about a day of harvest.