Jonathan Kauffman in SF Chronicle: U.S.'s first robotic farm opens in the Bay Area

Growing vegetables hydroponically in indoor greenhouses saves 90 percent on water and avoids the need for pesticides or herbicides, Alexander said. Because the robots can constantly shift the plants around so they’re spaced farther and father apart over their four to six weeks of growth, Alexander estimated that Iron Ox will be able to produce 30 or 40 times what a conventional greenhouse of the same size could, operating year round.