IT farming: Google showed smart robots to work in the fields

A subsidiary of Google, Alphabet Mineral, presented prototypes of robots that can change the approach to growing crops. They will give the most complete picture of the state of plants, reports the Air Force.

Innovative robot buggy will be able to ride on huge fields with crops and collect information about each plant, without harming it. Special wheels and vertical supports are designed for travel between seedbeds.

The essence is that the robot has collected the most complete information and gave farmers to understand what exactly each plant needs: what kind of fertilizer, how much water in his soil and whether irrigation is needed, what the state of leaves and fruits.

This is the approach that will increase yields not by increasing the number of plantings, but by increasing the efficiency of each plant. “Robot Buggy was designed to see how plants actually grow and respond to the environment,” the company said.

Over the past few years, robot buggy has traveled through strawberry fields in California and soybean fields in Illinois, collecting high-quality images of each plant, counting and classifying each berry and each bean.

The prototype collected data ranging from the number of fruits on each plantation to size, soil moisture and leaf area. These data were then entered into the machine learning system, processed, and helped farmers find patterns and conclusions about how to improve plant fertility.