China Unveils Giant Vertical Farm Run Entirely by Robots

china vertical farm

China has recently constructed the world’s first 20-level vertical farm, fully managed by robots and artificial intelligence (AI). This innovative facility is capable of producing up to ten vegetable harvests annually, using less land and water.

In the face of a continuously growing global population, feeding the planet is becoming increasingly challenging. While the industrialization of agriculture has boosted yields, it is reaching its limitations. Among the proposed solutions are vertical farms. China has now pioneered the construction of a fully automated, 20-level vertical farm.

The Institute of Urban Agriculture (IUA) at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) is responsible for the construction of this remarkable farm. Robots carry out all tasks, efficiently growing salads in just 35 days.

AI-Managed Vegetable Growth

China’s first autonomous veggie farm in Chengdu, Sichuan province, can reportedly produce a harvest of lettuce every 35 days. Photo: CMG
China’s first autonomous veggie farm in Chengdu, Sichuan province, can reportedly produce a harvest of lettuce every 35 days. Image: CMG.

Similar to most vertical farms, this facility is equipped with colored LED diodes to provide essential light. To deliver nutrients and particular light types at each stage of plant life, the artificial intelligence-controlled system uses a database. Wang Sen, one of the researchers, stated, “We can combine different amounts of red, blue, yellow, near-ultraviolet, and near-infrared light at different stages of the plant’s life cycle. We have built a database of 1,300 combinations for 72 types of crops.”

Researchers have asserted that there is no discernible difference between plants grown in the laboratory and those from traditional agriculture. The vertical farm reduces the cultivation area and the required water quantity and enables year-round production. It can achieve ten vegetable harvests per year and accelerate crop breeding by cultivating multiple plant generations annually. The IUA is currently in negotiations with companies for the commercialization of its technology.