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FarmBot Featured in The Guardian: Inside the Mission to Grow Food in Space

FarmBot Featured in The Guardian: Inside the Mission to Grow Food in Space

FarmBot was recently featured in The Guardian in their article FarmBots, flavour pills and zero-gravity beer: inside the mission to grow food in space. See what they had to say about the University of Melbourne researchers who are hoping their FarmBot pilot project will help grow vegetables in space.

"Space gruel might be OK for short voyages, but with Nasa planning to send crewed missions to the moon and Mars in the next couple of decades, it’s falling to scientists to find a better solution. In other words, to grow food in space. Potentially indefinitely."

"To solve this riddle, the University of Melbourne team – which includes Dr Claudia Gonzalez Viejo and Dr Nir Lipovetzky – are using open-source robotic farming machines called FarmBots and a combination of digital sensors, AI and facial analysis to measure how food grows in certain conditions, and how microgravity affects our experience of eating it."

"Each FarmBot can be programmed to plant seeds, then irrigate them efficiently, harvest crops, spray for disease, and even record things such as temperature and growth rates. Lipovetzky wanders over and hands me a delicate circuit board that looks very expensive. I try not to drop it. “This is our e-nose,” he says. “It can ‘smell’ different aroma profiles given off by the plants. Combined with the soil sensors on the FarmBots, it lets us see exactly what each plant needs at any given time."

"Astronauts won’t need to be agronomists to produce fresh salad vegetables – space farming will be done by AI."

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