The fleet of Greenfield Robotics weedbots ready and waiting for beta test trials.
As Farmer Georgie writes, “Clint Brauer’s farm outside of Cheney, Kansas, could be described as Old MacDonald’s Farm plus robots. Along with 5,500 square feet of vegetable-growing greenhouses, classes teaching local families to grow their food, a herd of 105 sheep, and Warren G—a banana-eating llama named after the rapper—is a fleet of ten, 140-pound, battery-operated robots.”
What makes Brauer special is that he is using robots to tackle weeds on his farm. These robots are “Autonomous mowing machines were small enough to fit between rows, light enough to work in muddy fields, and, the best part — they could do it by themselves. Better yet, a whole fleet of them could.”
Brauer reached out to an old friend, Steven Gentner, founder of RoboRealm, a machine vision software company. Unlike most industries looking for “machine visioning” solutions, teaching robots to see crop rows would be relatively easy.
Large-scale agricultural production is already well suited for robots because it is so hyper-controlled. Large-acreage farmers plant straight rows that go on for miles of exactly the same thing, exactly the same distance apart.
“Agriculture right now is just booming in terms of robotics. It makes so much sense,” Gentner says.
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