Marijuana is increasingly becoming popular as a recreational drug. But growing it can be a complex and time-consuming process; it is one of the challenges when it comes to cannabis business statistics. There has always been a need to use hydroponics.
But scientists at MIT have developed a new piece of technology that would save people a lot of effort: A robot called “The Harvest” that carries out all the processes required to grow marijuana, from planting the seeds to harvesting and even packaging up the final product.
The device can monitor and water plants and control the temperature and humidity in a room without human intervention. Only this one can do all these things at once because it’s an intelligent machine! Detecting pests is something that every marijuana business owner would like to add to their list.
How does it work?
The Harvest comprises a hydroponic tray, light and air delivery system, and a camera that monitors the plant’s growth.
Combine this with an automated process to add water or nutrients for a plant when it needs them, controlling temperature and humidity in the room all by itself. This machine can learn from its environment, respond to changes in climate, and regulate itself with minimal human input.
The Harvest has been programmed to detect when a plant needs water, the right amount of nutrients, or under attack from pests. It can then respond accordingly by delivering what the plant needs at the right time with no human intervention required.
How does it work?
The Harvest can identify which plant in a poly-culture system produces a distress signal known in the trade as a ‘kilo’ shout. It dispenses the right amount of water or nutrients to that particular plant.
It can also detect when one plant has grown taller than its neighbouring plants. In response, it regulates the amount of light and air that the plant receives.
The Harvest uses a webcam and image-processing software to identify the differences between healthy and unhealthy plants and detect tiny changes in colour or even spots on leaves that indicate disease. It then responds by delivering the right amount of nutrients at the right time for each plant.
It is also being programmed to detect the sex of the plant and determine if it is ready for harvesting, cutting or breeding.
How long before this technology becomes available?
The Harvest has been designed as a complete product that can be installed in an empty growing space and used without human intervention. It can also detect and regulate hundreds of plants at once.
It is expected to be a commercial product within a year, but scientists don’t rule out the possibility of this technology being adapted for use in other industries. This invention will save private growers time and money and cut down on electricity bills by creating a more controlled environment for plants.
It has been proved that automation can cut workforce costs by 25 to 50%. If this technology is automated, it will reduce the need for growers to hire human labour, making marijuana business statistics look better.
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