According to Cannabis Tech, the cannabis industry is incorporating automation. Integrating this new technological advancement can shape the continuing success of cannabis commerce and trade. Intelligent automation is defined by Forbes as “a more advanced form of what is commonly known as robotic process automation (RPA). Any large-scale activities or groups of repetitive tasks that draw on or feed information to multiple systems is an intelligent automation candidate.”
Retail outlets including grocery stores and home improvement centers embrace self serve cashiers, and the automated budtender is part of this trend.
The Badass Budtender kiosk series can manage cash and card payments, scan customer IDs, comes with a menu including 115,000 SKUs, images and details in real time. Upright models are offered as well as sit-down tabletop models designed for lobby areas and soon-to-be-legalized lounges. It can be in a comfortable setting that customers can sit and complete their transactions.
“It is incredibly important to us that we are enriching the customer experience while providing valuable decision-making data analytics,” says Etien Alcantara, CEO of 420 Cyber, the company that developed Badass Budtender.
Systems are in place to utilize intelligent automation in cannabis cultivation from large-scale commercial ventures to small household systems to startups. Benefits to automation include more energy efficient processes and environmentally friendly growing system.
NuvusGro has designed grow.droid, a system that includes software engineered to provide an indoor environment with optimal growing conditions. The system offers both a hydroponic system and a soil-based system that uses a coco medium combination with perlite. The grow.droid system can be programmed using shipping containers, singular standalone containers or ready-made facilities. The system can be customized for specific strain profiles, dosing, preferred growing method, lighting, and other factors.
Bloom Automation is also at the forefront of this technology. Trimmer robots are another promising area of automation and systems like Bloom Automation are working towards developing software that combines automation with human precision. This is one area of technology that will see future expansion.
Lighting can be significantly enhanced by intelligent automation and LED lighting efficiencies, especially in enclosed growing systems will probably use LEDs. Promising economics, sustainability, and a long shelf life improve the demand for LED lighting systems.
What about outer space and cannabis? This is not such an improbable future with Space Tango, a Kentucky-based company, as part of an initiative to send growing cannabis to the International Space Station. Combining two of the most cutting-edge and exciting areas of technology, Space Tango engineers laboratories the size of microwaves with one being sent to the International Space Station. With new technology, this is the opportunity to analyze growing cannabis benefits from being outside of the earth’s gravitational pull. Once the mini-laboratory lands on the International Space Station, scientists will examine and track the growth of hemp and cannabis. This experiment could lead researchers to discover the benefits of cultivation of plants in outer space.
Automation begins with a costly initial investment, but its technology can reduce cultivation costs by up to 10 times.
Intelligent automation may be one answer to maintaining consistent quality for the growing demand of the cannabis market. Advanced agricultural technologies can aid commercial grows while customer service can add to the consumer experience.