Greenhouse Canada

Features Products Handling Systems
New and notable: Automation and AI

March 10, 2020  By Greenhouse Canada

With the rise in labour costs and ongoing demands for skilled employees, automated solutions could take care of more menial tasks for growers and free up their time. This edition of our new and notable section highlights solutions for plant spacing, cucumber grading and packaging, pest tracking, as well as data management and analysis.

BigTop Plant Spacing Robot


Designed as an affordable automation solution, BigTop solves the repetitive task of moving and spacing pots. AIS’s flagship patented, autonomous mobile robot uses a set of sensors to observe its surrounding environment, enabling it to operate autonomously and make decisions. Suitable for indoor and outdoor use, it can carry up to six or more pots at one time, handle pot sizes from six to 12 inches wide, and carry up to 30 kg (65 Ibs) per load. Operating independently or controlled remotely via an app, precise spacing is chosen by the operator. Full training and support is provided by the manufacturer.




The HV-100 by Harvest Automation is a fully autonomous robot for container-grown plant movement (spacing, collection, consolidation) both indoors and outdoors, in full-sun and full-dark environments. Effective in the greenhouse, hoop house and nursery, HV-100 offers high placement accuracy and can handle all common container sizes and materials. Robots work safely alongside people and require minimal training and setup. No programming required. Quick swap rechargeable batteries.


TOP Mini Cucumber Grading & Tray Pack Solution

This SMC grading and tray pack system from Total Operations Performance Inc. (TOP) in Waterloo, Ont. analyzes mini cucumbers and places them into specific tray pack configurations. It features a vision system that grades each mini cucumber by length, width, taper and bend; a tray de-nesting feature that loads industry-standard trays; and the ability to pack up to 7,200 mini cucumbers per hour. In addition to reducing labour costs, this self-contained, portable turnkey solution can record and report data on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, as well as integrate data from the greenhouse climate computer.



With cloud solutions, IoT, AI learning and big data, merging and analyzing the information can be complex and time-consuming. Enter eGro. First launched in the Netherlands and now in North America, eGro is an award-winning software platform that allows growers to collect and combine relevant data from the greenhouse, giving them a comprehensive picture of the rootzone, the crop, climate conditions, irrigation and harvest results all in one place. It also provides intelligent, data-driven recommendations to help growers optimize their production. Developed with growers worldwide, the software platform is and will be continuously developed based on feedback. It can be connected to the most common climate computer systems and is available for smartphone, tablet and desktop.



LUNA is a greenhouse AI platform that uses computer vision to monitor crop growth in your greenhouse. At first glance, LUNA reminds you of an upside down train riding on tracks above the plants. The camera vision captures endless images as it rides around your greenhouse and then sends those images to the company’s greenhouse data collection to be translated onto an app that can be accessed on your cellphone or laptop. If there’s a problem with your growth rate, temperature or even a couple of mites, LUNA notifies you immediately, even if the problem is only in a 3 foot x 3 foot section of your operation. LUNA sends you a warning, and you solve it before it’s a problem.



Built by growers for growers, RedBud delivers modern agricultural software to keep ongoing records of the greenhouse in one place. It’s designed to help growers make data-driven solutions, improve crop outcomes and ensure regulatory compliance. The browser-based software offers tracking of plants and available space for more efficient use, a readily accessible record of pest observations with costs and measured effectiveness of product applications, a task management feature for assigning tasks to team members with records of who completed the tasks and when, and a maintenance module to track greenhouse equipment and its upkeep. RedBud is built to operate intuitively and consistently with existing practices.

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