Greenbio Group is working with QUT researchers led by QUT Centre for Robotics Chief Investigator Dr Chris Lehnert to develop a novel modular vertical growing solution that aims to solve some of the technical and economic challenges facing wider adoption of intensive cropping in highly urbanised environments.
The QUT-Greenbio research team is using iterative design to develop suitable systems, then deploy state-of-the-art simulation and additive manufacturing – 3D printing – techniques to prototype these quickly.
The foundation project with QUT involves specific engineering solutions for growing systems that maximise production efficiency with regard to labour, water and energy usage. Dr Lehnert views automated indoor cropping as a sustainable adjunct to, rather than a replacement for conventional farming. That said, he believes robotics and automation will make valuable contributions to Australia’s future agrifood sector.
With the new systems and technology, Greenbio aims to ‘bring food production into cities, on a small or large scale’. Its automated vertical growing units will be available for purchase by industry clients worldwide.
Down the track, Greenbio intends to use these high-tech intensive protected cropping solutions to grow medicinal crops that will become the inputs into ‘high-specification, elaborately processed goods’ in its target precision-health product categories.