Putting the plant in the driving seat: artificial intelligence for crop performance

Project Details


This project addresses the global issue of fragile food security, which is expected to worsen thanks to globalised supply chains and the reliance of many countries on imports.

Indoor farming could allow countries to become more self-sufficient by increasing local food production, including in and around urban spaces. However, indoor farming can suffer from productivity problems – as plants did not evolve to thrive and be at their most productive in these environments. Plants have evolved to adapt their growth to constantly changing environmental conditions, and many crops produce on average only 20-40% of their genetically encoded yield potential, due to environmental stress.

This project is working on a plant-computer interface to directly measure a plant’s responses to its environment and subsequently optimise the environment to achieve specific growth outcomes. They are working on a prototype to simultaneously capture root and shoot data to record plant growth activities, with the aim of developing AI that can not only optimise yields but also improve factors such as flavour and nutritional content.
Effective start/end date11/09/20 → …


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