Anyone who runs a farm or tends to some plot of land somewhere would realize that just as the land produces the good stuff like fruits and vegetables (if you have planted the right seeds, that is), so to, will the land churn out weeds. Getting rid of weeds are a whole lot harder than your crop, which is why this prototype weed-seeking automaton could revolutionize the way we eat as well as assist in lowering our reliance on highly toxic herbicides. Known as the Lettuce Bot, this four-wheeled weeding machine was specially designed and built by Indiana-based startup Blue River Technology.
It will use an integrated camera as well as an advanced visual algorithm suite in order to tell the difference between two breeds of lettuce and common field weeds. Once that is done, it will inject the weeds with a toxic cocktail of plant fertilizer, where the right amount will make short work of the weeds’ roots, with the byproduct being additional fertilizer that will further enhance the produce, resulting in a win-win. No idea on whether the Lettuce Bot can work in the middle of the night though, but if it could, the positive ramifications would be enormous to the entire agriculture industry.
Right now, the Lettuce Bot has a 98% accuracy rate, so it would be interesting to see if the Lettuce Bot’s concept can be translated over to other kinds of crops which also suffer from the scourge of weeds.
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