AI and Agriculture

Despite many people trying to convince you on the contrary, Artificial Intelligence is doing innumerable tasks other than taking your job (Shocking, right?). AI has advanced beyond expectations in the past few years, it is helping in many fields and is at the verge of completely automating some. Today, it is carrying out tasks from booking our seats to feeding us. That’s right, AI has made splendid development in field of agriculture which is the economic base for many countries in the world.

AI researchers are focused towards the jobs that demand more physical exertion. Agriculture is surely one of them. There is a long list of practical inventions made in this regard, the best of which are listed below:

See and Spray:

Blue River Technology has constructed an award-winning AI powered weed control machine named “See and Spray”. As evident from the name, this machine can detect weeds and unnecessary plants in a field and spray pesticides specifically on that location. See & Spray does not rely on spacing or color to identify weeds. Instead it has unparalleled ability to recognize differences between plants in conditions that would challenge the human eye. This is not only farmer-friendly but also cost-effective approach. Existing weed control methods result in 3 billion pounds of herbicides being used each year costing a total of $25 Billion. This machine uses least amount of pesticides and is also intelligent enough to determine the specific type of chemical for many kinds of weeds.

Strawberry Harvester: 

Harvest CROO Robotics (HCR) has developed a robot to help strawberry farmers pick and pack their crops. Strawberry harvesting is especially difficult due to softness of the fruit, but HCR claims that its robot can harvest 8 acres in a single day and replace 30 human laborers. An estimated 40% of annual farm costs are funneled into “wages, salaries and contract labor expenses” for crops such as fruits and vegetables where labor needs tend to be the highest. To date, Harvest CROO Robotics has reportedly raised $2.8 million from investors and farms representing 20% of all U.S. strawberry production.

The Sowing App:

Microsoft India partnered with INCRISAT to develop an AI-based Sowing App powered by Microsoft Cortana Intelligence Suite including Machine Learning and Power BI. The Sowing App was developed to help farmers achieve optimal harvests by advising on the best time to sow using data about weather conditions, soil quality and other indicators. The best part; the farmers don't need to install any sensors in their fields or incur any capital expenditure. All they need is a feature phone capable of receiving text messages as said the company. The App uses historic climate data spanning over 30 years to calculate the crop-sowing period and Moisture Adequacy Index (MAI) is calculated to determine the optimal sowing period.

Plantix:

Berlin-based agricultural tech startup PEAT developed an AI powered app named Plantix; which is a mobile crop advisory app for farmers, extension workers and gardeners around the world. It can diagnose plant diseases, pests and nutrient deficiencies affecting your crops. You just have to click a picture of your plant and Plantix will not only detect the disease but also will tell you its cure. The company claims that its software can rapidly achieve pattern detection with an estimated accuracy of up to 95%. But without specifics regarding the size of client farms, we are unable to confirm if the Plantix app poses any significant limitations for larger farms.

The Farmer’s Alexa:

Now, let’s talk about an upcoming invention, Shall we? Because we think this is going to be a lot helpful to farmers. We are talking about “Alexa for Farmers”. If it is packed with the right answers and analytics information, the farmer’s chatbot could be a real boon to busy farm managers who are doing all they can to expand and grow their businesses. “Successful Farming” has collaborated with “Amazon” to bring news, weather, and markets information on any Alexa-enabled device. They are very positive that farmers will actually use it and can talk to their Amazon home devices and get updates directly from Successful Farming. It is in its initial phase now but we hope that it will develop as a full fledge farmer chatbot helping them in daily tasks.

These inventions show applications in nearly every area of agriculture, from bowing seeds to harvesting crops. We hope that more and more inventions come to help our dear farmers. Which of these inventions you find most amazing? Do share in comments below.

No comments

Powered by Blogger.