World's first 'robot run' farm to open in Japan

TOKYO -- A Japanese firm said Monday it would open the world's first fully automated farm with robots handling almost every step of the process, from watering seedlings to harvesting crops.

See Full Article

Kyoto-based Spread said the indoor grow house will start operating by the middle of 2017 and produce 30,000 heads of lettuce a day.

It hopes to boost that figure to half a million lettuce heads daily within five years.

The farm, measuring about 4,400 square metres (47,300 square feet), will have floor-to-ceiling shelves where the produce is grown.

"Seed planting will still be done by people, but the rest of the process, including harvesting, will be done (by industrial robots)," company official Koji Morisada told AFP.

The move to robot labour would chop personnel costs by about half and knock energy expenses down by nearly one third, Morisada added.

The pesticide-free lettuce will also have more beta carotene than other farm-grown lettuce, the company said.

Robot-obsessed Japan has repeatedly turned to automated workers to fill labour shortages that are projected to get worse as the country rapidly ages.


Latest Economic News

  • Suncor production rebound after Fort McMurray fire leads to profit

    Economic CTV News
    CALGARY - Oilsands giant Suncor Energy is reporting net third-quarter earnings of $392 million compared with a net loss of $376 million in the same period of last year. The Calgary-based company reports a strong production rebound after second-quarter interruptions caused by the wildfire that swept through Fort McMurray, Alta. Source
  • Asian stocks lower as investors examine company earnings

    Economic CTV News
    HONG KONG - Stocks retreated in most Asian markets on Thursday as investors assessed a fresh round of corporate earnings from major companies across the region. KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.5 per cent to 17,303.27 while South Korea's Kospi rose 0.3 per cent to 2,019.09. Source
  • Samsung profits plunge 17 per cent after Galaxy Note 7 recall

    Economic CTV News
    SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of -- Samsung Electronics says its third quarter profit has plunged 17 per cent as Galaxy Note 7 recalls nearly wiped out its mobile profit. The South Korean tech giant said Thursday that its July-September net income was 4.4 trillion won ($3.9 billion), down from 5.3 trillion won a year earlier. Source
  • Canadian government warns U.S. senators of potential lumber dispute consequences

    Economic CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- The Canadian government is warning U.S. politicians about the consequences of a possible new softwood-lumber dispute. A letter from International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland and David MacNaughton, the Canadian ambassador to Washington, went out today to two dozen senators -- with a copy to President Barack Obama. Source
  • #GrabYourWallet boycott targets Trump family on the retail front

    Economic CBC News
    An eye-catching shoe piques your interest and draws you in. Upon closer inspection, the label leaps out at you — Ivanka Trump, in simple gold lettering — and you recoil as if stung. That's the kind of reaction behind a growing boycott of the products emblazoned with the brand of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump as well as the popular, working women-targeted fashion line from his eldest daughter — who has arguably been his most influential and effective family member during the…
  • Tesla reports first quarterly profit in more than three years

    Economic CBC News
    Tesla Motors Inc. reported its first quarterly net profit in more than three years on Wednesday as record deliveries helped to offset rising expenses related to next year's roll-out of the company's mass-market Model 3 sedan. Source
  • First Nations filing lawsuit against Pacific NorthWest LNG project

    Economic CTV News
    Catherine McKenna, front right, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, speaks while flanked by Jim Carr, from left to right, Minister of Natural Resources, British Columbia Premier Christy Clark and Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, after the federal government announced approval of the Pacific NorthWest LNG project, at the Sea Island Coast Guard Base, in Richmond, B.C. Source
  • Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal doomed, ex-PM Brian Mulroney predicts

    Economic CBC News
    Former prime minister Brian Mulroney says the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal is doomed to fail because of hostility in the U.S. Congress. Mulroney made the prediction today after taking part in a ceremony to formally announce plans for the Brian Mulroney Institute of Government at his alma mater, St. Source
  • 'Muted' Canadian wage hikes seen next year: Conference Board

    Economic CBC News
    Canadian workers in non-union jobs can expect 'muted" wage hikes next year, with the lowest increases going to workers in Alberta and in the oil and gas industry, the Conference Board of Canada said Wednesday in a new report. Source
  • Apple struggling to keep up with demand for iPhone 7 Plus

    Economic CBC News
    Apple Inc's shares slipped as much as four per cent after the company said it was struggling to keep up with demand for its large-screen, higher-margin iPhone 7 Plus, potentially reducing sales and profits in the Christmas shopping period. Source