iUNU, a computer vision SaaS-based company that launched LUNA, the first artificial intelligence platform for the greenhouse industry, announces the milestone of the LUNA knowledge base surpassing one billion square feet of imaging, in the single most extensive library of greenhouse machine knowledge. iUNU predicts that as it continues to cover more greenhouse square footage, LUNA will surpass the addition of one petabyte per year of imagery.
While each grower operation using the LUNA platform owns and is in complete control of their imaging and data, the constant growth of the volume of imaging drives the machine learning and value the system provides. LUNA learns from each photo captured, providing an immeasurable depth of experience and knowledge to LUNA growers.
“It’s a snapshot in time, adding to recorded history,” says iUNU CEO Adam Greenberg. “Every time LUNA takes a photo, it adds to its experience. Over time, it improves that knowledge so the system can better recognize and detect anomalies in the crop so precisely and with such sophistication that growers can let LUNA focus their crop scouting on the analysis of and solutions for the problems instead of manually collecting notes.”
iUNU built LUNA to be a grower’s best friend; a tool that allows them to work proactively instead of reactively to solve plant growth issues in real time. LUNA helps growers redirect the way they use their time by reducing the number of hours dedicated toward scouting crops and walking through greenhouses to check environmental conditions.
A lack of predictability heavily constrains greenhouse operations. Most growers still use manual data collection, causing inconsistencies due to inaccurate data, human error and inefficient facility management, which ultimately result in 10 to 25 percent crop loss. With the technological advancements pioneered by iUNU’s team of engineers and horticulturalists, the industry now has a quantifiable and data-driven toolset that standardizes the process of commercial growing.
The collected data is analyzed and presented in a simple, easy-to-use decision support tool that gives growers actionable insights and granular production management capabilities.
In the traditionally labor-intensive and highly competitive greenhouse industry, where educated, experienced growers are in short supply, and high demand and labor resources are scarce, grower operations can’t afford to lose experienced employees, yet turnover is high, and jobs are unattractive to younger generations.
LUNA helps growers work smarter, not harder, and also provides grower operations with the ability to retain decades’ worth of experience and knowledge that is otherwise lost when highly valued team members leave or retire.
“LUNA works with your data just like an employee and treats your data as your data. When an employee leaves a greenhouse operation, they can’t take proprietary processes with them, but they do take with them the experience and knowledge they have learned working with the plants. LUNA learns the same way,” says Matt King, iUNU’s Chief Technology Officer. “What we have gained with LUNA is the largest commercial knowledgebase in indoor agriculture that we can apply to your greenhouse, and help growers retain that knowledge over time.”
Further, the horticulture industry is amid a generational shift. LUNA helps to preserve valuable production and management information that would otherwise be lost.
“With 63 percent of greenhouse owners above age 55, we’ll soon be turning over two-thirds of valuable experience available to the greenhouse industry,” Greenberg says. “We need to be able to capture that tribal knowledge to prevent that loss of experience for individual greenhouse operations and the industry as a whole.”
iUNU has grown significantly with more than 800 percent increase in greenhouse square footage since the first quarter of 2018, with operations throughout the U.S. and Canada. The company’s team offers vast experience and knowledge in bringing the fourth industrial revolution to an industry that is just beginning a transformation similar to the one manufacturing has gone through.
“With the greenhouse industry growing at a rate of 20 percent year over year, owners are scrambling to find solutions to manage and scale their growing operations effectively,” Greenberg says. “iUNU’s solution turns growing operations into data-driven manufacturing facilities.”