Researchers at Blue River Technology have developed a robot that is capable of hunting down and killing weeds in a farmer’s field. The robot not only kills weeds, it uses complex algorithms to determine the difference between a healthy plant and the weeds that surround it.
Once a weed-killing robot realizes that a weed has been discovered, it individually injects it with enough fertilizer to kill it.
The robot has been effective enough to land Blue River Technology $3.1 million in Series A funding from Khosla Ventures.
With chemical based herbicides being attacked by health food experts and environmental activists, researchers could win big if they prove the new weed-killing robot is not only effective but also cost-saving.
Blue River Technology still has a long way to go with their robot; at this time, it can only detect lettuce plants from non-lettuce plants. Researchers note that crop knowledge can easily be expanded with the right mixture of automated systems programming.
The robot is still in the prototype stages of testing and will undergo more rigorous testing to determine its efficacy.
In the United States, farmers and home growers use more than 250 million pounds of herbicides per year, substances which are sprayed around homes, outside of cities, and in other areas of high environmental impact on residents.
Do you think new technologies that do not spray potentially hazardous materials on our food should be used as soon as possible?