Artificial Intelligence is growing its roots in almost all fields. Now the agricultural industry has gotten a taste of AI with some robots weeding in the farms. In England, there are three robots, Tom, Harry, and Dick, trained in a way that they find and zap weeds. This process takes place before planting seeds in the land. Such innovations have proved that a robot can do more than we think.
The robots remove all the unwanted plants using electricity. By doing this, they minimize the use of heavy machinery and chemicals, which usually affected the acidity of the garden. Small Robot startup in England has built robots for almost four years now, a report by Business daily.
The company launched Tom in April 2021. The robot is in use on three major UK farms. The other two robots are still under the testing stage, after which they will join Tom in uprooting weeds.
The report from Small Robot proved that Tom, the first robot, can scan up to 20 hectares in a single day. As it passes through the land, it collects data that is stored for crop care. The information is applied by Dick, who then zaps the weeds. The third robot, Harry, plants the seeds in places where a wedding has taken place. Farmers can save a lot of time and money by 50% when they embrace using these robots, the report by theguardian.
The Small Robot Co-founder said that their system helps beat depleted and damaged soils due to high chemicals.
“Our system allows farmers to wean their depleted, damaged soils off a diet of chemicals,” says Ben Scott-Robinson, Small Robot’s co-founder and CEO.
Before 2023, co-Founder Ben Scott says they will have to launch a complete system. The charges will depend on the size of the user’s land. A single hectare, the farmer, will be required to pay almost $568. Harry stays aside as the rest of the robots work on the ground, then after finishing, it takes off to complete the planting process.
The company collaborated with RootWave to create a super zapping technology. The robot has applications that go deep through the soil and destroy weeds. All plants which compete with the crop for nutrients are gotten rid of. The robots go plant by plant to make sure there is no remnant of weed.
Franklin Kit, an engineering lecturer at Harper Adams University, talks about robots in an interview with CNN. He said the startup has played a significant role in ensuring agricultural innovation is at the top. But he still doubts if many farmers will adopt this technology because a chemical sprayer is much faster than a robot.
What Agricultural Engineers say
The lecturer is sure that if the speed of those robots increases, then the technology will explode. People should realize that caring for soil nutrients has more advantages. Chemicals have led farmers to buy new fertilizers to neutralize or add acidity to the soil. Some substances, when used in excess, end up leaving short-term effects on the plants. We have moments when even the whole land is destroyed, hence farmers making a loss. Furthermore, chemicals pollute the environment.
Working in a quiet and friendly environment is the best way to grow good crops. When farmers use fewer inputs while performing huge tasks, it saves on the cost of production. This means their margin profit increases over time.
The information recorded can analyze the nutrients that the soil is missing. This will improve soil quality as farmers will be aware of the type of fertilizer to purchase. A Small Robot spokesman said if we don’t rectify and find solutions for our agriculture, we have nothing to farm tomorrow.