Robot gardener grows plants as well as humans do but uses less water

An automated robot gardener has shown its nurturing side by matching humans in trials of growing vegetables – and it did it with more efficient use of water.

Simeon Adebola at the University of California, Berkeley, and his colleagues have developed an automated plot, called AlphaGarden, that contains a mix of plant types and tested whether it can perform as well as a team of six expert human horticulturalists, each with 10 years of gardening experience, on average.

The robot and human-run plots both contained pairs of eight different common edible vegetables, such as kale, chard and radicchio. Where the humans …

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