CEA innovations

Features - Technology: Introduction

From smartphone apps to sensors and robotics, these technologies represent the cutting edge in produce.

March 26, 2018

Photo: Adobestock

As technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT) develop at a dizzying pace, the World Economic Forum claims the world is entering a “fourth industrial revolution.” Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, writes on the nonprofit’s site that this revolution “is characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres.”

Produce professionals at the forefront of greenhouse production and vertical farming technology realize this, and they seize the opportunity to utilize technological developments to garner investment, improve crop yields and maximize profits. Companies in the produce space offer technologies such as cameras and monitors that notify growers of pest and disease issues; robotic systems that sort, cut and label fruits and vegetables; and hydroponic channels that maximize space efficiency.

In this section, read about several innovative technologies and companies that are influencing the way the produce industry operates, beginning with a profile of indoor farm Plenty here. Next, read about vertical farms in the third part of the Urban Agriculture Series on here. Then read about how columnist Leslie F. Halleck uses technology in her life here. Additionally, you will find stories on automation in hydroponic systems (here), sensor technology (here), a smartphone app (here), produce labeling (here) and robotics (here).