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Robotic Weed Killer More Efficient Than Traditional Methods Robotic Weed Killer More Efficient Than Traditional Methods

Robotic Weed Killer More Efficient Than Traditional Methods

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Farmers regularly battle the challenges of pests and weeds, creating a huge industry for the corporations creating herbicides and industrial weed killers. But that industry is facing one of its biggest challengers yet: technology.

Using artificial intelligence, a weedkilling robot in Switzerland can scan for weeds and zap them with weed killer much more efficiently than traditional methods. Although the robot is still in the testing phase, though, it faces opposition from the multibillion-dollar industry it threatens to disrupt. Herbicide sales make up nearly half of all pesticide sales, bringing in $26 billion each year.

In the spirit of, “If you can’t beat them, join them,” large corporations are working on robot-based solutions of their own. Bayer is seeking out partners to help with precision sprayers they are developing, and Syngenta plans to create its own crop protection products that will work with these new types of equipment.

Although large-scale weed killer deployments have proven effective, the Swiss robot can cut back on the chemicals needed, saving money. They aren’t the only ones. A Silicon Valley startup called Blue River has a machine that uses on-board cameras to scan areas, determine if what it sees are weeds or crops, spraying only when needed.

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Read 2843 times Last modified on Thursday, 31 May 2018 02:53
Stephanie Faris

Stephanie is a freelance writer and novelist whose work has appeared on NYPost.com, PSMag.com, the Intuit Small Business Blog, and many others. She is the Simon & Schuster author of 8 children's books, including the Piper Morgan chapter book series, 25 Roses, and 30 Days of No Gossip.

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