US: A closer look at Bowery's technology

“We’re designing and building smart, controlled-environment farms that use a combination of our proprietary operating system and technology. We’re 100 times more productive while using a fraction of the resources,” says Justin Frankert, vice president of robotics for hardware and automation at Bowery Farming. 

The backbone for the farming processes inside a Bowery facility is BoweryOS, the company’s proprietary operating system. BoweryOS uses a network of sensors and cameras throughout the “farms” to monitor and collect data about the growing conditions and then make adjustments to optimize the growth of the crops.

“If a tray or area isn’t meeting the recipe established, we can move a tray to a different environment within the AS/RS to hit higher compliance for the recipe. A lot of local optimization can occur,” Frankert says. In that sense, the lifts and pallet carriers optimize the growing trays like AutoStore bots move totes to optimize access to inventory, although perhaps not as often.

What’s more, the software and technology operating the farm was designed in-house and custom-built for Bowery Farming, including the AS/RS and conveyor system. To make that happen, the company invested heavily in talent: Frankert, for instance, previously worked at SoftBank Robotics, where he focused on technologies for micro-fulfillment centers in the 7,500 to 10,000 square foot range. 

“We don’t want to just replicate the same farm over and over. We want to make every farm better than the last one,” he says. To do that, Bowery Farming continued to advance its proprietary operating system.

Read the entire article at Modern Materials Handling


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