Robots are exhibiting their utility in enhancing future harvests by rolling between fields of standing crops. Plant scientists have found that using robotics to collect data might help them make better product development choices.
EarthSense claims that its 40 robots acquired more than ten terabytes of data in 2019, and the business plans to more than quadruple that figure to nearly to hundred robots this year.
“We evaluated our breeding programs robots with institutions and seed firms in our early pilot studies in 2018,” says EarthSense co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Chinmay Soman. As a result of the plethora of crops studied, “we are on an upward trajectory.”
Since 2017, EarthSense has collaborated with several seed firms, including Corteva and Ag Reliant parent company KWS. Soman claims that one of the firm’s most significant accomplishments so far has been developing these long-term collaborations with seed firms, some of which have lasted four years, and demonstrating how their technology has been helpful in product development.
He says, “Agriculture begins with the seedling.” “By developing better seed, we are assisting in developing a stronger basis for agriculture.” And we have identified a niche in supplying truly unique data to improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of crop breeding.”
The robots collect data and take high-resolution photos under the crop cover in the fields.
He also claims that these agreements have improved EarthSense’s automated technology and software developments since it has served as a ground-truthing tool for how the robots may fit into particular farmers’ land.
” In the future, our robots will be able to perform more efficient field researches since they would be able to better deal with the obstacles they come across. Some of the potential applications of the platform that we are investigating include the planting of cover crops, the use of mechanical weeders, and the accurate placement of concentrated plant protection chemicals.” Said Soman.
While the firm continues to analyze potential and fine-tune its product testing, the staff is upbeat, although the job might be challenging.
We are having a difficult time finding a solution to the problem of agricultural robotics. We will get there in the next several years with the broad idea of putting robots in a field and performing helpful things for the grower. However, some intriguing things may go wrong in agriculture and real-world field situations,” Soman explains. We are thrilled to take on these challenging challenges because we believe the potential rewards will outweigh the potential drawbacks.