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Introducing Phil, our Second Greenhouse Robot

Introducing Phil, our Second Greenhouse Robot image

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

Phil 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, Phil lets us be fast, efficient, and food-safe. Phil starts by filling each 6’ x6’ plant module with a varietal-specific mix of water and nutrients in under two minutes, and as the plants grow, he is responsible for monitoring and refilling exactly what the plants need. Phil 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.

Phil + Grover: A Formula 1 Pit Stop 

Phil and Grover are the Formula 1 pit crew of greenhouses. Grover transports empty plant modules across acres of greenhouse space to dock with Phil to be batch-filled. Phil 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, Phil takes 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. Phil then adds exactly what’s needed to match its target settings. When Phil is done with his work, Grover takes the plant module back to its respective place in the greenhouse, and rolls off to get the next one.

We get our “Phil” from Data

The data that Phil collects 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. Phil’s 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.