Registration for the 4th edition of the International Autonomous Greenhouse Challenge is now open. In this edition, Wageningen University & Research (WUR) and co-developer Tencent challenge teams to remotely grow dwarf tomatoes using artificial intelligence (AI).
The competition starts in the spring of 2024 and consists of an Online Challenge in which AI and horticultural experts grow a virtual crop. The top five teams from the Online Challenge will get their own greenhouse compartment at WUR in Bleiswijk, the Netherlands, in autumn 2024. There, they will compete with each other to grow real dwarf tomatoes in the most sustainable and autonomous way possible.
The potential of autonomous growing has been successfully demonstrated in previous editions of the challenge. This year, dwarf tomatoes take center stage. Tomatoes are traditionally grown in a high-wire cultivation system, and they grow metres tall, requiring a lot of manual labour. Dwarf tomatoes, on the other hand, remain compact, only about 40 cm high. This makes them ideal for full automation and cultivation in urban environments.
By organizing the Autonomous Greenhouse Challenge, WUR and co-developer and technology company Tencent want to further connect the world of AI and food production, develop knowledge, and make this knowledge publicly accessible.