New AI-Powered Farming Robot Trundles About Inspecting 50 Acres of Crops per Day for Pests and Disease:
SentiV robot – credit: Meropy
A new innovative spoke-wheeled robot can act as a long-distance plant nurse that can inspect 50 acres of row crops for disease, pests, or other issues. Planting is a seriously stressful time for farmers, as all the input costs stack up while profit lies far away in the distant months. Furthermore, many things can go wrong between planting and harvest time, whether that’s a sudden outbreak of disease, pests moving into the area or the proliferation of weeds. That’s why a new 33-pound robot called the SentiV moves about on spokes rather than wheels or treads which crush plants and could be ideal for farmers looking to reduce labor costs and hours. Placing the GPS coordinates of the field’s boundaries, the SentiV then uses these boundaries as a guide to map the whole field—up to 50 acres in a day, scanning both the underside and topside of plants with a pair of cameras. Smart algorithms then look for threats, monitor the plants’ growth, and identify signs that the plant might need more or less water or nutrients. The SentiV scouting robot is currently just a prototype, but its designers hope that the high unit cost can be offset with savings on pesticides and fertilizer.