The TU Delft Automatoes team won last year’s Autonomous Greenhouse competition in which engineers competed against growers for the best cherry tomatoes. This is how they won.
A modern greenhouse is stocked with sensors and needs advanced automation to produce optimally. (Video still TU Delft TV)

The TU Delft Automatoes team won last year’s Autonomous Greenhouse competition in which engineers competed against growers for the best cherry tomatoes. This is how they won.

The world-wide demand for food is increasing and many experts agree that greenhouses are the most efficient way of producing food because their climate can be controlled. However, there will initially be a lack of experienced growers to get the optimal results from the greenhouses. That’s where artificial intelligence comes is.

  • Watch the short TU Delft TV documentary on the Automatoes team:

Sensors in greenhouses monitor the lighting, humidity, temperature, ventilation and heating. AI experts use knowledge in literature, expertise from growers and data on the plants to determine the combination of these variables that result in the best crop, both in taste and amount.

Growing expert Ab van Marrewijk expects that AI will take over the daily management of greenhouses in Africa and Asia, which can be monitored and supervised by experts in the Netherlands. “That’s where we’re heading,” he explains.