This robotic greenhouse is the 'future of agricultural research'

This robotic greenhouse is the ‘future of agricultural research’

Features the latest technology RoboticsWith remote sensing and data capture capabilities Texas A&M AgriLife Research launched the multimillion-dollar ‘future of agricultural research’. Greenhouse Automated Accurate Profiling On the campus of Texas A&M University in Brian College Station. The news was shared just a few days ago by AgriLife today.

The greenhouse is part of the Texas A&M AgriLife Plant Growth and Phenotyping facility, which also includes the Borlaug Southern Crop Improvement Center.

“The Automated Virtualization Micro-Greenhouse will serve our research project in meeting the new challenges and expectations of the food system,” said Cliff Lamb, AgriLife Research Director, during the official grand opening. “Our growing population will require a high-quality diet that prevents chronic diet-related diseases, and whose small ecological footprint uses less water and fewer inputs – these are major challenges. The Greenhouse will position us as the world leader in precision agriculture.”

Photo courtesy of Texas A&M AgriLife

As Texas’ persistent drought conditions persist, the research facility will allow scientists to explore genomic discoveries of advanced plant crops to offset one of the nation’s harshest growing environments.

Combined with advanced genomics and big data collection, greenhouse technology can identify specific chemical compounds and accelerate crop plant improvements through breeding and genetics, increasing productivity and stress tolerance.

Research initiative funding

The greenhouse is funded through a Chancellor’s Research Initiative Award and rewarded with a Governor’s University Research Initiative Award. additional robotic equipment Funded by the Research Development Fund Award. The facility had an estimated construction budget of approximately $3.5 million.

The facility contains two greenhouses with automated giant systems, one 2,400 square feet and the other 600 square feet. Their arch systems move the entire length of each greenhouse. On the giant gantry systems, there are rolling trucks with long-range robotic arms to conduct various research activities such as monitoring plant health and movement. The sensor head includes a multispectral camera and a Raman spectrometer.

The greenhouse facility also includes three additional research greenhouses of 600 square feet without them robotic systems. All five greenhouses feature advanced LED lighting systems and 19-foot ledges. Researchers in the lab and field also have access to a 1,500-square-foot home equipped with sterilizers and pot tables, as well as a laser room and common-use lab.

Milestone for Texas A&M Agrilife

“This is a significant achievement for Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Texas A&M AgriLife and the Texas A&M University system as we continue to innovate and meet new challenges in providing agricultural solutions in Texas and abroad,” said Jeffrey W. Savile, vice president and dean of the university. Agriculture and life sciences.

The facility provides Texas A&M faculty with a unique infrastructure for automated micro-phenotyping, which greatly speeds up crop improvement progress and allows for frequent cycles of optimization and calibration.

Photo courtesy of Texas A&M AgriLife

“It will also be a platform for interdisciplinary research where physicists, biochemists, and engineers will work alongside field scientists in soil, plants, microbes, insects and other interrelated disciplines,” Lamb said.

He noted that the new technology would help advance traditional and urban field farming.

“Researchers can replicate the naturally occurring environments in this field. State of the art technology It will allow attributes to be measured independently with maximum Precision with robots and sensors.

Lamb said the facility will also help recruit outstanding graduate students.

“These future scientists will learn the latest skills and techniques needed to describe plant-pressure interactions and work hand in hand with producers and consumers,” he said. “The greenhouse facility will help faculty attract the best graduate candidates and provide additional federal and industry funding in these areas.”

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