MIT Introduces Horticultural Robots

Robot teachers that speak various languages, take roll call, assign basic tasks to students, and express her current mood using facial expressions powered by 18 motors. Now, here come the robot gardeners.


Students and researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory have created robots that tend to tomato plants. Take note! No human intervention is required for this gardening operation. These robots perform specific plant maintenance just based on the sensor feedback from plants. The plants themselves have soil sensors and can network with the robots, letting the robots know when they need water and nutrients or keep track of how many tomato fruits they’ve grown.

Meanwhile, the robots are equipped with watering pumps and robotic arms that are gentle enough to pick cherry tomatoes. The goal of this project, according to MIT, is to develop a fully autonomous greenhouse, complete with robots, pots, and plants connected through computation, sensing, and communication.

Now, do you believe this is the beginning of robots gardening for us? For me, there are certain things that robots are limited in doing when it comes to agricultural work. So I’d still prefer nurturing my plants using my own hands. Still, this technological advancement in robotics may prove to be very advantageous to large-scale environmental projects and agricultural endeavors.

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