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World's First 'Robot Run' Farm To Open In Japan

First Posted: Feb 01, 2016 10:17 AM EST

A Japanese company has a new way to grow vegetables. Kyoto-based Spread, a vegetable production company, announced that it will open the world's first robot run farm, according to a news release. Spread will run a fully automated farm, where robots will replace human labor in almost every possible way, from watering plants to even harvesting crops.  

The firm announced that its indoor farm will begin its operation by the middle of 2017 and is expected to produce an average of 30,000 heads of lettuce a day. In addition, the firm also plans to increase their figure to a half a million lettuce heads per day over the following five years. The indoor farm is about 4,400 square meters (47,300 square feet) and it will have numerous floor-to-ceiling shelves where the crops will be grown.

"Seed planting will still be done by people, but the rest of the process, including harvesting, will be done (by industrial robots)," Koji Morisada, a company official, said in a news release.

Morisada claimed that the use of robotic labor will reduce personnel costs by half and it will lower the energy expenses by one third. The indoor lettuce will be free of pesticides and will contain more beta carotene compared to farm-gown lettuce.

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