none

BOSCH ROBOT LEARNS TO TEND CROPS AND SMASH WEEDS

27-10-2015
by 
in 

Meet the Bonirob, a car-sized, autonomous robot with ladar capabilities, satellite navigation, a high-impact smashing rod, and sophisticated video analysis capabilities: it’s here to tend to your carrots.

Teaching robots to do anything more than identically repetitive tasks is difficult: many strenuous, time-consuming labors are still human-run, despite being inefficient and unpleasant.

Currently, plant-scientists spend hundreds of man-hours in labs, analyzing plant after plant to ensure resistance to pests, fertilizer and water requirements, and yield: it can take up to ten years for a strain of crop to be ready for market. Further, some in-field crops must be hand-weeded.

Bonirob, equipped with high-quality video recording and analysis, is capable of object recognition, a particularly challenging task for robotics. When fed images of different species of plants, the robot can recognize new samples of these plants unassisted, and even learn from new data it collects.

“Algorithms analyze the photos taken by scanners and cameras. This automatic screening saves a lot of time and effort,” says Professor Amos Albert, robotics expert at Deepfield Robotics. “Over time, based on parameters such as leaf color, shape, and size, Bonirob learns how to differentiate more and more accurately between the plants…”

After identifying plants, Bonirob then collects data, and locates plants that are not wanted: weeds. Over time, it gets better at locating and differentiating between crops and weeds, and subsequently smashing the intrusions into the ground with a mechanical rod, removing the need for chemical pesticides.

While still in research phases, the robot shows promise. In September, the German Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture Christian Schmidt presented the agricultural robot with an award for innovation in horticulture. It won the Deutscher Innovationspreis Gartenbau in the “technology” category. 

Related news & editorials

  1. 21.01.2019
    21.01.2019
    by      In
    Australia’s largest automotive industry event heads to Melbourne in 2019, with the Australian Auto Aftermarket Expo running at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre from Thursday 4th to Saturday 6th April. The event will feature more than 400 exhibitors and upwards of 10,000 professional... Read More
  2. 18.01.2019
    18.01.2019
    by      In
    Sydney-based food processing and packaging specialist tna has named Jonathan Rankin as Chief Executive Officer. Having recently returned to tna as Chief Sales Officer, Rankin will now lead tna’s day-to-day operations, while focusing on the implementation of new processes that will take the company’... Read More
  3. 17.01.2019
    17.01.2019
    by      In
    Despite an increased global focus on IoT security, the latest report from security specialist Gemalto reveals that only around half (48%) of businesses can detect if any of their IoT devices suffers a breach. “The state of IoT security” also finds that the proportion of companies’ IoT budgets spent... Read More
  4. 17.01.2019
    17.01.2019
    by      In
    Online entries for the Australian Packaging and Processing Machinery Association Awards of Excellence will close on 26th January, with judging set to begin on 28th January. The award winners will be announced at the Gala Awards Ceremony on 27th March.
    According to APPMA Chairman Mark Dingley, “... Read More