Ro­bots to Root Out Weeds

Reader's Digest Asia Pacific - - News Worth Sharing -

Cur­rent farming meth­ods mean large amounts of weed killer are sprayed in­dis­crim­i­nately over fields of crops that have been ge­net­i­cally mod­i­fied to re­sist the chem­i­cals. It’s an ex­pen­sive and waste­ful process. But the new science of ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence could change that.

Ro­bots are now be­ing de­signed that can roll through fields, iden­ti­fy­ing and tar­get­ing in­di­vid­ual weeds as they go. Swiss com­pany EcoRo­bitix claims its au­ton­o­mous, so­lar-pow­ered ro­bot will use 20 times less her­bi­cide than con­ven­tional meth­ods and is 95 per cent ac­cu­rate. Other com­pa­nies are also work­ing on sim­i­lar projects.

“A lot of the tech­nol­ogy is al­ready avail­able. It’s just a ques­tion of pack­ag­ing it to­gether at the right cost for the farm­ers,” says Richard Light­bound of ro­bot­ics re­search com­pany Robo.

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