We had a hunch that the future of farming was going to be all about robots, and naturally, Japan is taking the lead. Last night, Kyoto-based firm Spread made a bold announcement: In two years time, it intends to be running the world's very first fully-automated, (mostly) human-free farm. From watering seedlings to harvesting crops, robots will control nearly every aspect of this indoor lettuce production operation, according to company official Koji Morisada, who spoke about his autonomous farming ambitions with the AFP this morning.
But note the 'nearly'. Despite the fact that this future farm is being marketed as a bastion of automation, humans are still going to fill one very important role.
"Seed planting will still be done by people, but the rest of the process, including harvesting, will be done [by industrial robots]," Morisada told AFP.
Still, by cutting most of the squishy meatbags out of the equation, Morisada hopes to slash personnel costs and energy expenses. There are no details yet on what sorts of robots the indoor farming company plans on using, but if you'd like a little help imagining our robot-farming future, check out these 13 amazing farming robots that already exist.
Spread's indoor grow house is slated to open in 2017.
Top image: lettuce in indoor hydroponic system via, Shutterstock