Seed World

Autonomous Robot Helps in Plant Selection

German researchers at the company Bosch’s Deepfield Robotics developed Bonirob — an autonomous robot that is able to determine which strains of a plant are most apt to survive insects and viruses and how much fertilizer they would need, and then smash any weeds._x000D_
Bonirob is now available as a research platform and Deepfield hopes that it will be available to farmers within 20 to 30 years._x000D_
To determine which plants are good and which ones are not, the robot uses decision-tree learning. Researchers show Bonirob pictures of healthy leaves that are tagged to be good and pictures of weeds that are tagged to be bad. Then, Bonirob makes a series of choices based on observed data to determine if a plant in the field is good or bad. As the robot collects new images, the algorithms are updated._x000D_
“Over time, based on parameters such as leaf colour, shape and size, Bonirob learns how to differentiate more and more accurately between the plants we want and the plants we don’t want,” says Amos Albert, Deepfield general manager._x000D_
The robot’s weeding mechanism is meant to structurally destroy weeds so that desired plants have a growth advantage. In carrot cultivation trials, it was more than 90 per cent effective, reports Birgit Schulz, Deepfield communications lead. It’s also completely mechanical. Source: Popular Science.