US: University of Arizona aims to push forward vertical farming

Droughts, rising temperatures, supply chain challenges, and a war in Europe's breadbasket are making it harder to feed the planet.

But vertical farming is one possible solution: It happens indoors in a controlled environment, without the need for soil. For years, students and researchers at the University of Arizona have studied how vertical farming can save space, time, and something scarce here in the desert: water.

"The amount of plants you can grow in a tiny footprint is insane," said biosystems engineering graduate student Christopher Kaufmann. Now UArizona is helping push the practice forward—literally. The Life Grow (LG) Bot puts a vertical farming frame on wheels.

It was invented by professor Joel Cuello and his team of graduate students. A seven-member team of engineering students designed a prototype for their Capstone Engineering Project, which was awarded the 'Roche Most Innovative Engineering Design' at UA Design Day 2022 in May.

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