Iron Ox start-up

Will America's future farmers be robots?

Angus possibly will be America’s farmer of the future. He's heavyset, weighing in at nearly 1,000 pounds, and he is a bit slow. But he's strong enough to hoist 800-pound pallets of maturing vegetables and can move them from place to place on his own. Angus is a robot.

To Brandon Alexander, Angus and other robots are key to a new wave of local agriculture that aims to raise lettuce, basil and other produce in metropolitan areas while conserving water and sidestepping the high costs of human labor. It's a big challenge, and some earlier efforts have flopped.

After raising $6 million and tinkering with autonomous robots for two years, Alexander's startup Iron Ox says it's ready to start delivering crops of its robotically grown vegetables to people's salad bowls.

As reported by cbsnews.com, Iron Ox planted its first robot farm in an 8,000-square-foot warehouse in San Carlos, California, a suburb located 25 miles south of San Francisco. Although no deals have been struck yet, Alexander says Iron Ox has been talking to San Francisco Bay area restaurants interested in buying its leafy vegetables and expects to begin selling to supermarkets next year.


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