Simeon Adebola at the University of California, Berkeley, and colleagues developed a robot gardener that can grow plants as capably as humans while saving more water.
The researchers tested six seasoned horticulturalists against an automated plot called AlphaGarden in two 60-day competitions.
AlphaGarden contained pairs of eight common edible vegetables, and formulated optimal growth strategies using a garden model and robotic pruning and watering controls.
Data from moisture sensors in the soil and a camera helped the algorithm schedule watering.
Adebola said AlphaGarden exhibited comparable performance to the horticulturalists, but used 37% and 44% less water in the two respective growth cycles.
From New Scientist
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