Originally published on The Fifth Estate by Tina Perrinotto, 3 September 2019

Eastern Distributor Breathing Wall trial

Roundup of industry news: Junglefy general manager Suzie Barnett says the team is now at 35 and looking to add staff, especially in the sales area.

The team has been busy not just expanding but on testing out new ideas, working in conjunction with UTS – Associate Professor Sara Wilkinson in particular.

This includes seeing how robots might work in maintaining green installations, especially at height.

Safety issues come into this – that is, it’s safer for robots than humans at the top of the Central Park Broadway installation that the company maintains for instance. But there’s also the potential for these mechanised intel objects to capture information. Do the plants need more or less hydrating or fertiliser? Are these pest or disease issues?

“The robots are more the eyes and intelligence for places where humans can’t be,” Barnett said during a recent conversation.

Another useful place where the robots will come in handy is in testing freeway installations of green walls in conjunction with Transport NSW. Now scaling up something like that’d be a nice antidote to the asphalt.

And then there’s lighting for the indoor installations.

Plants have circadian rhythms, but in the white light of many indoor spaces, this is denied them and plants simply then fail to photosynthesise, Barnett points out.

So in another trial the team is running a program that mimics the circadian rhythms of sunlight to see if plant growth improves. Let’s take a stab in the dark and say it will.

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