This Robot Uses Machine Learning to Kill Weeds, It May Eliminate Our Need for Herbicides

11. 18. 15 by Miguel Santos
Bosch
Image by Bosch
Robot Farmer

Deepfield Robotics has built an agricultural robot called Bonirob. Surprisingly, it is able to pick out weeds in crops. This comes thanks to a little help from machine learning and a little bit of big data.

Deepfield Robotics is a startup company that is funded by multinational engineering and electronics company Bosch. Their mission is to help foster a sustainable green revolution to conserve nature. And this new development helps them do just that. Ultimately, the Bonirob makes the process of plant breeding more efficient and (most notably)more  environmentally friendly.

The robot is about the same size as  a small car and will go a long way towards making it easier for farmers to manage their crops. On top of that, it could potentially eliminate the need for herbicides.

Weeding Out Bad Crops

Bonirob is capable of distinguishing between weeds and crops by comparing them to images using machine learning. These include a number of factors for the analysis, such as leaf color, shape, and size. Bonirob can then eliminate unwanted weeds by ramming in the ground. Deepfield Robotics general manager, Professor Amos Albert, explains how the machine learns, saying “over time, based on parameters such as leaf colour, shape, and size, Bonirob learns how to differentiate more and more accurately between the plants we want and the plants we don’t want.”

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Deepfield claims that within 20-30 years, Bonirob may likely change farming as we know it.


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