Monitoring crops and caring for them over a period of time is not an easy task. From the time the seeds are sown to the time of harvest. Lots of things can go haywire if proper policing isn’t done.
Things like pest infestation, disease spread, and unwanted weeds can undo all the hard work put in for months. Manually checking all the plants in large fields can be a tedious task with the possibility of human error, so the next best thing is a crop monitoring robot. One that autonomously navigates the fields without damaging the crops in the process.
The France-based startup wants to tackle resourceful farming bottlenecks with its AI-powered farming robot dubbed SentiV. The bot inspects fields on rimless spoked wheels that have a much lower contact area with the ground, scanning any crop for signs of infestation or early disease. The intelligent machine navigates forward into marked territory, scanning the area effortlessly and without the possibility of error.
SentiV is capable of moving 20 hectares per day, monitoring the crops with its dual camera system. One camera is placed at the top and the other at the bottom of the bot, keeping one tab below the crop canopy, soil, and leaves. AI-powered software analyzes the data from these cameras to identify threats and any signs of crops requiring more nutrition. SentiV is designed to work with different types of crops and the physical form can be modified for specific requirements. The mode of movement, the height of the machine or the size of the wheels can be adjusted without any problems.
Advanced data from the robot can ultimately be used to increase crop yield and quality. According to Meropy, his flexible robot weighs just 33 pounds, and the high-resolution images it sends back can be analyzed in detail even before manually stepping foot in the field. Backed by advanced data, the farmer can spray pesticides or other chemicals only where necessary, thus saving the environment as well. The startup’s design team is working to add another sensor to scan the fields better than any human eye.
The robot is currently in the prototype stage and the startup has not mentioned any release date for the commercially available version. Once there is a clearer picture of what price SentiV will sell for, the offset savings on pesticides and increased yield will decide its utility.