Agricultural Robots Can Tell The Difference Between Plants and Weeds, Can Thin Crops
Lettuce Bot uses a camera to image the plants beneath it. Machine learning algorithms then identify which ones are desirable and which are weeds. It can work with iceberg and romaine lettuces.
Once a plant is identified as a weed, a target spray, which is mounted behind the camera, will then shoot a targeted spray of an organic compound, such as hot steam or hot organic oil, at the plant and the plant will quickly die,” the company told Startup Lab.
The plant-classification algorithm is 98 to 99 percent accurate, and the kill mechanism is accurate to a quarter of an inch when the prototype is moving a 1 mph. The firm wants it to move at 3 mph while keeping it on target. Blue River says its machines will be more efficient than other means of weed-killing, and will work well in organic fields or those that have chemical-resistant weeds.