Alphabet and intelligent agriculture: plant buggy, the farmer with AI

Gianluca Riccio

Environment, Technology

plant buggy intelligent farming

Alphabet X begins to think about how to develop intelligent agriculture that helps humans to manage resources and the environment more and more

Alphabet's X Laboratory has unveiled its latest frontier project: a crop inspection robot called a “plant buggy”. Essentially a farmer equipped with AI for intelligent agriculture.

The solar-powered prototype roams autonomously through the fields using GPS to identify the location of the plants. When he finds them, he uses cameras and a sensor system to study the crop and any problems in the field.

How Plant Buggy Works

The cart combines data collected from the field, such as plant height and fruit size, with environmental factors. Plant Buggy essentially cross-references what it “sees” with weather forecasts, soil information, and other information. All the collected material is then analyzed by a machine learning system to evaluate how the crops grow and interact with the surrounding environment.

The stroller was tested in California strawberry fields and Illinois soybean fields. It has already analyzed the life cycles of a number of crops, including melons, berries, lettuce, oilseeds, oats and barley. Precision agriculture more and more advanced.

A says that Plant Buggy can help farmers treat individual plants and predict how different crops will respond to their treatments. “Smart” agriculture can use the information to spot diseases before they ruin all the work done in planting, or to predict the size and yield of a crop.

Mineral

smart agriculture
Alphabet claims the system evolved during field testing.

The device is part of an X project called Mineral, which was formed to develop “computational agriculture” that analyzes information about the plant world to help make agriculture more sustainable.

With the agricultural workforce aging rapidly and climate change affecting crop yields in ways that can be difficult to predict, smart farming initiatives like this could play a key role in securing future food supplies.

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