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.



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • Full interview: Tech expert Don Tapscott on global co-operation in the Trump age

    Economic CTV News
    Don Tapscott is one of the world’s leading authorities on technology, innovation and business. He is a long-time participant in the World Economic Forum who has authored or co-authored 15 popular books, including The Blockchain Revolution, which looks at how blockchain technology will fundamentally change the Internet and civilization. Source
  • First-time home buyer program attracting applicants, B.C. housing minister says

    Economic CTV News
    VANCOUVER - British Columbia's housing minister says a program to help first-time homebuyers received applications within hours of launching. Rich Coleman said that within six hours of the provincial loan program's launch on Monday, 29 applications had been submitted. Source
  • Venezuela debuts new banknotes amid soaring inflation

    Economic CTV News
    CARACAS, Venezuela -- Venezuelans stood in long ATM lines Monday to take out new, larger-denominated bills that President Nicolas Maduro hopes will help stabilize the crisis-wracked economy. Maduro last month said he was scrapping circulation of the most used bill, the 100-bolivar note, and replacing it with new bills ranging from 500 to 20,000 bolivars. Source
  • Layoffs begin as Gildan backs away from American Apparel factories

    Economic CBC News
    American Apparel LLC said it had started to lay off staff on Monday, after Canadian apparel maker Gildan Activewear Inc. withdrew its initial plan to acquire some of the bankrupt U.S. fashion retailer's manufacturing operations. Gildan won the rights to American Apparel's brand with an $88 million US bid in a bankruptcy auction last week. Source
  • Trump threatens 35% border tax on German autos

    Economic CBC News
    U.S president-elect Donald Trump warned German car companies he would impose a border tax of 35 per cent on vehicles imported to the U.S. market, a plan that drew sharp rebukes from Berlin and hit the automakers' shares. Source
  • Rich man, poor man: A closer look at Oxfam's inequality figures

    Economic CBC News
    A combination of static disposable incomes and rising costs has created a feeling among many middle-class Canadians that they are falling behind. Reports point out the declining quality of our jobs and that the top CEOs earn 193 times what the average worker earns. Source
  • Luxottica to join with Essilor in $70B merger of two eyewear giants

    Economic CBC News
    A global eyewear colossus worth almost $70 billion Canadian is set to be created as Italy's Luxottica — owner of Ray-Ban and Oakley glasses — merges with France's Essilor, owner of Crizal, Transitions, Clearly Contacts and other brands. Source
  • Loonie, TSX lower; U.S. stock markets closed

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- The Canadian dollar and Toronto Stock Exchange were lower in late-morning trading, with key U.S. markets closed for a holiday. The S&P/TSX composite index dropped 50.54 points at 15,446.74 after nearly two hours of trading. Source
  • Hard Brexit details send British pound to hard landing under $1.20 US

    Economic CBC News
    The British pound fell to its lowest since 1985 on Monday after speculation ramped up that British Prime Minister Theresa May will lay out her plans for a so-called "hard Brexit" from the EU to European lawmakers tomorrow. Source
  • IMF expects Canada's economy to expand by 1.9% this year

    Economic CBC News
    The International Monetary Fund is projecting strengthening world growth in 2017 and has upgraded its estimates of Canada's economic potential. However the Washington-based agency says any moves by the incoming Donald Trump administration to restrict trade could dampen the improving outlook. Source