AeroFarms and Nokia Bell Labs unveiled a multi-year partnership to combine their expertise and expand their joint capabilities in networking, autonomous systems, and integrated machine vision and machine learning technologies to identify and track plant interactions at the most advanced levels.
As part of this partnership, AeroFarms contributes its commercial growing expertise, comprehensive environmental controls, an agriculture-focused data platform, and machine vision core foundation. Nokia Bell Labs, the world-renowned industrial research arm of Nokia, contributes its groundbreaking autonomous drone control and orchestration systems, private wireless networks, robust image and sensor data pipelines, and innovative artificial intelligence (AI) enabled mobile sensor technologies.
AeroFarms and Nokia Bell Labs have been working together since 2020 and have reached an important milestone of achieving a proof of concept for this integrated system and testing the technologies with AeroFarms’ current commercial crop varieties. Together, they are now ready to scale this system to all of AeroFarms’ crops and future indoor vertical farms, including the next ones in Danville, Virginia and Abu Dhabi, UAE.
The integration of Nokia Bell Labs’ AI-enabled drone-based sensors and advanced machine learning, computer vision and data analytics technologies with AeroFarms’ existing machine vision tools enhances and elevates AeroFarms’ position as an agriculture platform and capabilities organization dedicated to solving food and agriculture supply chain challenges.
David Rosenberg, CEO at AeroFarms, said: “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. When I watch the drones autonomously imaging our plants, I am blown away by how this truly represents the power of harnessing technologies and bringing brilliant problem solvers together from diverse groups to grow the best plants possible.”
Roger Buelow, CTO at AeroFarms, said: “AeroFarms’ expert team of plant scientists and engineers have been working together for two years with Nokia Bell Labs’ top researchers and engineers to train these complex learning systems with a nuanced understanding of plant biology. We have created a cross-disciplinary understanding at an industrial scale to develop the latest imaging technology to help accelerate our ability to introduce new crops and ensure the highest quality for our commercial operations.”