When done responsibly with consideration for privacy, we believe data collection and machine learning can be a secret weapon for modern farmers. Recently our Farmer Support wizard, Dave Harris, attended Dreamforce in San Fran to talk about how data allows anyone to farm with our easy-to-use technology platform.
The what's what
Inspiration: Dreamforce, the annual Salesforce event held in San Francisco where everyone who’s anyone of the tech world can come to explore the newest and coolest technology.
Setting: Magical forest. Literally. The Dreamforce theme every year is Trailblazers, with the entire convention set up like a National Park with trees, animals, trail guides, and campsites.
Technology: farmhand®, Freight Farms' proprietary software technology platform. While farmhand® is the perfect tool for farming with the Leafy Green Machine™, it is applicable to several different growing technologies, with many customers using it to operate their large-scale greenhouses.
Big Data + farmhand®
While farmhand® is compatible with any hydroponic system, most customers use it in conjunction with our Leafy Green Machine™.
The LGM™ is a “smart farm” thanks to IoT-connected sensors that monitor all growing conditions. The purpose of the sensors is to collect data using the in-farm computer and aggregate it in the back-end of the software.
What you see (as the end user) is a complete and accurate description of what is going on in the farm at all times. From there, you can control various farm inputs (i.e. lights, vents, A/C) remotely.
By far the coolest function of the farmhand® platform is its ability to analyze trends. This allows you to not only troubleshoot problems, but to become a self-taught biologist going through trial and error adjustments to find the perfect temperature or nutrient-to-water ratio.
Of course, you're not alone. We've been doing this since 2010 and have collected billions of data points from our 150+ farms. This means that, as you work to create the perfect growing environment, our Farmer Success team can provide you with configurations that have worked for other farmers.
Data collection is just the beginning. We’re actively working to add machine learning to the menu. Dave explains, “this would mean the ability to recognize patterns of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ behavior in the farm, which will automatically trigger farmhand to respond and correct problems without human input. All the while, the computer is just getting smarter and more accurate over time.” The end result? Data will help farmers grow more, make more money, and collaborate with like-minded individuals.
Dave came away from Dreamforce super excited about the future of using data to inform machine learning with farmhand®: “The technology is out there and it’s already being applied in a lot of different industries. We can and will leverage this technology to make the Freight Farm the smartest farm out there.”
We attended Dreamforce with a team from Xively by LogMeIn, our amazing partner whose technology enables the in-farm sensors to transmit data. They were kind enough to invite Dave with them to rub elbows with the people making waves in data collection and service improvement. Check out some snapshots from the event!