As we look into the future, there will be two main areas that will define the software of the future: seamless connectivity between different software and hardware systems and increased automation to reduce labor costs. To better understand how software will play a role in the future of greenhouses, you must first get a glimpse of what the green- house of the future will look like.
The future greenhouse will not have an order entry staff. Instead, orders will be entered electronically by customers and sales reps using mobile devices that easily connect to the grower’s Picas software. These orders will feed the Picas production system that will alert robotics as to what needs to be produced. Supplier systems will automatically be alerted as to what supplies (seed, cuttings, trays, etc.) will be needed and when. As trays are produced, Picas will automatically track each tray via RFID chips that have been embedded in the plastic. Picas will then communicate with the environmental controls systems to determine where there is appropriate space for the product to be moved to. Picas will then alert the transport robots to pick up the trays and move them to the designated area.
Throughout the lifecycle of the crop, the software will com- municate with the environmental controls system to control the environment, apply necessary ap- plications and alert robotics as to when product needs to be moved. As the product is ready to ship, the software will alert the picking robots of what needs to be pulled and where the product can be found in the greenhouse. Once the product is pulled, Picas will inform the packing robots exactly which box or rack each container needs
to be placed in. The software will then communicate with all parties involved (broker, customer/ store, FedEx) that the order has been shipped. As finished product is sold at the stores, the store’s sys- tem will communicate with Picas to identify replenishment needs. Greenhouse software of the future will be the brains that will keep all of the parts moving.
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