Remote Control of Greenhouse Vegetable Production with Artificial Intelligence-Greenhouse Climate, Irrigation, and Crop Production

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16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The global population is increasing rapidly, together with the demand for healthy fresh food. The greenhouse industry can play an important role, but encounters difficulties finding skilled staff to manage crop production. Artificial intelligence (AI) has reached breakthroughs in several areas, however, not yet in horticulture. An international competition on "autonomous greenhouses" aimed to combine horticultural expertise with AI to make breakthroughs in fresh food production with fewer resources. Five international teams, consisting of scientists, professionals, and students with different backgrounds in horticulture and AI, participated in a greenhouse growing experiment. Each team had a 96 m2 modern greenhouse compartment to grow a cucumber crop remotely during a 4-month-period. Each compartment was equipped with standard actuators (heating, ventilation, screening, lighting, fogging, CO2 supply, water and nutrient supply). Control setpoints were remotely determined by teams using their own AI algorithms. Actuators were operated by a process computer. Different sensors continuously collected measurements. Setpoints and measurements were exchanged via a digital interface. Achievements in AI-controlled compartments were compared with a manually operated reference. Detailed results on cucumber yield, resource use, and net profit obtained by teams are explained in this paper. We can conclude that in general AI performed well in controlling a greenhouse. One team outperformed the manually-grown reference.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSensors (Basel, Switzerland)
Volume19
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2019

Keywords

  • artificial intelligence
  • crop production
  • indoor farming
  • resource use efficiency
  • sensors

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