• AI robots could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture
  • Strategic Elements says the Energy Ink technology can harvest energy from the air
  • The company plans to target the US$10 billion electronic skin patch market


A Californian start-up says its AI agriculture robot can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

IronOx uses automation to change how food is produced, by moving crops indoors and using robots to manage them – and grow more efficiently and therefore sustainably.

The robots take care of water, nutrients, light, temperature, and humidity which allows the company to make sure the plants are growing on track, predict how much they’ll have at harvest and to intervene if needed.

IronOx ensures only the right amount of fertiliser is used in its processes, since it is a major source of methane.

“Fertiliser requires a lot of energy to produce and emits a lot of greenhouse gasses,” CNET director of robotics David Silver said.

“The total greenhouse gas emissions of world agriculture is comparable to world transportation. 

“If we want to reduce greenhouse gasses, we have to look at the agriculture sector.”

The company’s crops also provide high quality and yield and ensure residual irrigation water is reused along with any unconsumed nutrients.


Who’s got tech news out today?


This ‘venture builder’ combines teams of leading scientists or innovators in unique technology, and they’ve just announced their 100% owned Australian Advanced Materials (AAM) and research partner The University of New South Wales (UNSW) have successfully generated electrical energy from moisture in the air.

Yep, you read that right. AAM managed to use the screen printed graphene-oxide based cells – called Energy Ink technology – to harvest energy from airborne water molecules.

It’s kind of a big deal; this tech could potentially directly power a device, complement a battery to extend device life or provide energy for battery storage. 

Plus, the tech uses uses green, sustainable materials that are safe and non-flammable and can be flexed and bent around the human body or structures when printed onto flexible plastic – an advantage over lithium-based batteries for example.

This particular experiment was investigating whether Energy Ink cells generate more electrical charge as they increase in size and it was successful, with a single 100 cm2 Energy Ink cell generating over 1400 mAh of electrical charge. 


Targeting the electronic skin patch market

Based on early results, SOR believes the technology profile has exceeded the power output requirements of many existing devices in the large US$10 billion Electronic Skin Patch market. 

These products are used to provide sports and health information from devices attached to the human body and currently use rigid alkaline batteries or those with lithium materials. 

Notably, the market for skin patches is forecast to grow to US$30 billion by 2031. 


Full potential yet to be discovered

“This achievement has unlocked a potential R&D pathway for developing larger scale Energy Ink systems either through increased cell size or multiple cells connected over a large area,” SOR MD Charles Murphy said.

“The Energy Ink technology is still far from reaching its maximum potential as the team continues to discover, develop and showcase the ability to enhance the technology’s ability to harvest energy from moisture.”

The team is currently validating a world-first prototype battery pack with the goal to generate amp hour range of electrical charge solely from moisture in the air, with the first demonstrator on track to be available in Q4 2022.



At Stockhead, we tell it like it is. While Strategic Elements is a Stockhead advertiser, it did not sponsor this article.