Enhanced Predictability through Integrated Autonomous Growing Solutions

June 11, 2024

By optimizing real-time adjustments to the growing environment, Koidra’s KoPilot effectively utilized the strategic insights…

The horticulture industry continuously seeks innovative solutions to enhance crop yield, quality, and predictability. In January 2024, Koidra, a leader in intelligent automation, and Delphy, a global consultancy and research expert in greenhouse agriculture, explored the combination of their hierarchical and autonomous decision-making models to improve the management of high-tech cucumber cultivation under LED lights. The trial utilized Delphy’s Quality Management System (QMS) to set daily targets (such as DLI and 24hr-temperature) and Priva’s Connext for actuator adjustments. The latter half of the trial integrated Koidra’s KoPilot technology to automate environmental control decisions every five minutes, thus creating a seamlessly integrated, autonomous system.

According to Linda Nooren, researcher at Delphy Improvement Centre, “The collaboration between Delphy, Priva’s Connext, and Koidra enabled full-automated control of the greenhouse climate, light, and irrigation. We had valuable discussions about the climate, usage, and differences with practice between crop advisors, growers, suppliers, and Koidra.”

Unfortunately, the crop had a difficult start due to late planting. However, following the integration of Koidra’s autonomous growing controls, the crop developed positively, resulting in consistent weekly production, good fruit filling, and excellent average weight from that period onwards. The cucumber production in the period of Koidra’s autonomous growing is almost equivalent to the predictions based on Delphy’s QMS.   

Methodology

The trial was structured around a three-tier decision-making model:

  1. Delphy’s Quality Management System (QMS) – Provided weekly recommendations for daily targets, focusing on long-term growth strategies.
  2. Koidra’s KoPilot – Adjusted environmental control setpoints in real-time (every 5 minutes) to optimize conditions based on QMS recommendations and ongoing environmental feedback.
  3. Priva’s Connext Executed the actuator adjustments determined by KoPilot.
 Integrated Autonomous Growing Solutions - Delphy x Koidra

Overall Results

The integration of these systems demonstrated robust performance and reliability, ensuring seamless communication between the software layers. The system proactively managed environmental conditions to eliminate water condensation on leaves, thus preventing diseases such as mildew, a common challenge in cucumber cultivation.

The success of this trial underscores the importance of integrated decision-making systems in greenhouse agriculture. By optimizing real-time adjustments to the growing environment, Koidra’s KoPilot effectively utilized the strategic insights from Delphy’s QMS and the control capabilities from Priva’s Connext to drive superior crop production and predictability.

Linda Nooren highlighted, “Together we explored and built effective feedback systems to improve the control performance.”

Implications for Future Agricultural Practices

Increasing crop production and prediction capabilities is key to maximizing the value of greenhouse production, especially given the rising variability in external climate conditions negatively impacting crop growth. The results suggest that similar integrative approaches could be effectively applied to other crops and growing conditions, paving the way for more widespread adoption of intelligent automation in agriculture.

Conclusion

This trial marks a significant achievement in the field of greenhouse horticulture, showcasing the benefits of hierarchical decision-making models. The collaboration between Koidra, Delphy, and Priva not only led to good crop performance but also highlighted the importance of synergy between high-level decision-making tools and precise operational control

systems. As we continue to refine these technologies, the potential for optimizing agricultural productivity and sustainability becomes increasingly attainable.


About Koidra Inc.

Koidra Inc. is an autonomous control company whose software aids growers in boosting yields, reducing resources, and promoting sustainable agriculture. Supporting the AI copilot technology, this software seamlessly integrates with all existing climate computers.

Koidra achieved consecutive wins in the prestigious Autonomous Greenhouse Challenges (AGC) by Wageningen University and Research in the Netherlands. Outperforming experienced cultivators, the company achieved unparalleled yields through its AI solutions.

Koidra has secured grants from esteemed bodies, including the USDA, for its innovative work. By integrating artificial intelligence, machine learning, IoT, and expert insight, the company has developed advanced and robust tools. These tools empower growers and manufacturers to realize production and sustainability goals while minimizing costs.

About Delphy

Delphy focuses on research, projects, data-driven crop management, consultancy, and training in the agricultural sector on a global level. By conducting practice-oriented research, initiating global projects, offering high-quality advice to growers, and providing training for beginning and advanced crop managers, Delphy stimulates innovation in agri- and horticulture. 

Delphy’s Quality Management System (QMS) combines data, growth models, and smart algorithms for the optimization of cultivation strategies for crops like tomato, cucumber, strawberry, tree and fruit cultivation, but also for chrysanthemum or phalaenopsis. 

Delphy’s Improvement Centre develops innovation within sustainable cultivation systems for Greenhouse Horticulture and Indoor Farming. It is done through research, demonstration, and knowledge implementation with a team of researchers and consultants. The high-tech greenhouse and indoor facilities are an important element in connecting research, innovation, and application in practice. 

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