A Japanese company announced it will have a fully automated indoor lettuce farm operating by the middle of 2017, according to Discovery.com.
By automated, a Japanese spokesperson of the Spread company said, "Seed planting will still be done by people, but the rest of the process, including harvesting, will be done (by industrial robots)."
The indoor farm will measure about 47,300 square and at startup and have a target of producing 30,000 heads of lettuce a day. The farm will have floor-to-ceiling shelves on which the lettuce will be grown. The company announced but did not explain how it hopes to boost the indoor production of head lettuce to half a million daily within five years.
The company official quoted was Koji Morisada who claimed the pesticide-free lettuce will also contain more beta carotene than other outdoor farm-grown lettuces.
Indoor farming in high-rise buildings with story after story of production in specially designed buildings (greenhouses) is a concept that has been under development in relatively small scale in parts of the world, but the automation described for this operation is outside of what has been established in the past.