A system that uses AI and robots is helping bio-intensive farmers make the best decisions for the health of their crops
Spotted: Bio-intensive farming is a type of organic agriculture where methods like succession planting, raised beds, and crop rotation are used to achieve maximum yield from a minimal area of land – all while increasing biodiversity and soil fertility. It is also ideally suited to the use of technology and robotics.
Agritech startup Nature Robots has developed a system that uses autonomous robots to create high-resolution, three-dimensional plant maps of crops and weeds, which are then transferred into a monitoring interface for detailed plant management. The robotic system can track the condition and development of individual plants, their size and shape, and other key parameters on a daily basis.
Using the system’s artificial-intelligence-driven (AI) data analysis, farmers can then take specific actions to support bio-intensive cultivation methods, protect against disease, plan crop rotations, and more. The robots are intended for use in vegetable and fruit cultivation, viticulture, agroforestry, and agro-photovoltaic environments.
Nature Robots is a spin-off of the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) and is supported by the German government’s Exist transfer of research programme and the European Social Fund. Exist provides startup funding for research-based projects and aids students, graduates, and scientists in founding commercial ventures based on research.
Sustainable farming methods are taking off in a big way – as seen in recent innovations Springwise has spotted like simplified hydroponics systems for smallholders and the growth of regenerative, hand-sown produce.
Written By: Lisa Magloff