According to Iron Ox, a Silicon Valley startup, the inclusion of robots in farming will facilitate a surge in produce and sustainability. On 22nd September 2021, the firm raised a whopping USD 50 million in a financing round that was led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures, founded by Bill Gates.
The CEO of Iron Ox, Brandon Alexander, stated that the inclusion of robots with a hydroponic system boosts water saving by 90% when compared to traditional farms.
Iron Ox’s GROVER
Iron Ox is utilizing that system to work at a 930 square meter greenhouse situated in Gilroy, California. The system is a self-driving robot dubbed GROVER. The robot moves produce skids of Genovese Basil and the robot’s arm uplifts the skids for introspection. The robot is etched with sensors that test the water for acidity and nitrogen levels for a growth that is filled with vitality.
California’s economy is majorly influenced by the output generated in the agriculture sector. However, water utilization receives attention more than ever due to the number of droughts faced by the US state. The previous drought of 2012-2017 repressed the farmers’ irrigation practices, triggered deadly wildfires, and enforced stringent household fortification.
Iron Ox cultivates basil and strawberries and works on tomatoes, parsley, and coriander. The firm is also constructing a new-fangled 535,000 square foot greenhouse facility in Texas.
According to Brandon Alexander, the CEO of Iron Ox, hydroponics is one fraction of the solution for the modernization of agriculture. Hydroponics is a sort of horticulture that includes growing plants devoid of soil in their growth process. The plant absorbs nutrients by mineral solutions dissolved with plant-nutrition solvents.
Brandon Alexander stated that to eradicate waste generation to achieve the firm’s goals of impact and sustainability, Iron Ox is refabricating its entire crop growing procedure.
The financing round for the inculcation of the Grover robot saw investors from R7 Partners, Crosslink Capital, and Pathbreaker Ventures.