In May of 2023, Canobi announced a new partnership with HarvestAi. Founded in 2020 by MIT alumnus Georg Caspary, HarvestAi uses machine learning and computer vision to provide crop forecasts so growers can improve efficiency. Both Canobi CEO Robin Vincent and HarvestAi lead researcher Alexandre Sicard are excited about the possibilities of this research and development partnership.
HarvestAi has been running trials of their technology in Canobi's in-house lab. For this project, we have been growing strawberries, a popular, profitable crop for indoor growers. The Canobi Grow Lab gives HarvestAi not only controlled conditions in which to conduct this experiment but also the ability to check on their crop 24/7 via remote access to the Canobi dashboard. So far, we have been able to grow some exceptional berries with high Brix scores.
"We are excited for the advances that machine learning can bring to vertical farming. The Association for Vertical Farming calls these technologies "the next frontier of automation in Controlled Environment Agriculture." In the strawberry trials running in the Canobi labs, we are using depth cameras mounted in stereo to measure fruit size, stem thickness, leaf area, and other factors. This information, gathered through computer vision and run through HarvestAi's machine learning, will give growers an accurate forecast of the harvest date and yield two weeks ahead of time. With this data, farmers can make informed production and staffing decisions on farm operations, among other benefits. In addition to predicting harvest date, the cameras can analyze changes in plant coloration to discern crop health. This will allow issues such as nutrient deficiencies or disease to be noted and dealt with at the first possible moment. In the future, the Canobi platform will include a module with HarvestAi's crop prediction so our clients can benefit from this exciting innovation," the Canobi team explains.
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