Five teams to compete in 4th Autonomous Greenhouse Challenge

June 19, 2024

Wageningen University & Research (WUR) hosted the Autonomous Greenhouse Challenge hackathon event 6-7 June in Bleiswijk, concluding the first (online) phase of the Challenge.

Five teams – IDEAS (Zhejiang University, China), MuGrow (TU Delft, Gardin, Rijk Zwaan, Wageningen University), AgriFusion (Croft, IMEC, GreenBites, Harvard University, Korea University of Technology and Education, Seoul National University), Trigger (Grit, Ridder, Daeyoung, Bigwave, Seoul National University, Keimyung University), and Tomatonuts (Wageningen University, China Agricultural University, Jingwa Agricultural Science and Technology Innovation Centre, Golden Scorpion) – emerged as the winners of the online challenge and will advance to the next phase of the competition: growing a real dwarf tomato crop remotely and autonomously in a greenhouse compartment at WUR Bleiswijk.

The hackathon event marked the end of the first phase of the Autonomous Greenhouse Challenge. Twenty-three international teams from around the globe entered the Challenge, with only the top five teams advancing to the next phase of the competition. These five teams emerged from the online challenge completed by each of the 23 teams on 31 May.

As part of the next steps of the challenge, the finalists must first provide a list of sensors required for their strategy to grow dwarf tomatoes. Before 15 July, the teams need to share the first version of their control scripts with the jury. By 1 August, all sensors must be available at WUR Bleiswijk for installation in the respective greenhouse compartments. Then, the five teams have to provide the final version of their control scripts, and after 23 August, no changes in the control scripts and algorithms are possible anymore.

From 2 September to 15 December, the teams will put their machine learning and computer vision skills to the test by remotely and autonomously growing a real dwarf tomato crop in their own greenhouse compartment. Their goal will be to achieve the highest yields and best quality with the most sustainable input of resources, such as water and energy, and thus maximize net profit. New is also that they have to make decisions on the biological pest control actions.

On 16 January 2025, the winning team of the 4th Autonomous Greenhouse Challenge will be announced by the jury during the final event.

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