news    views    talk    learn    |    about    contribute     republish     crowdfunding     archives     events

Environment & Agriculture

by   -   January 19, 2017
Image: Wheat Genetics and Germplasm Improvement
Image: Wheat Genetics and Germplasm Improvement

I’ve long believed that Augmented Reality (AR) and robotics are closely related. Both model their environments to some degree. Robotics uses that model to guide the behavior of a machine, whereas AR uses it to provide an enhanced sensory experience to a human.

by   -   December 6, 2016

black-mirror-3x06-1

In this roundtable edition, we watched the Black Mirror episode “Hated in the Nation” and asked our Robohub team members: with many institutions focused on developing aerial drone technology, and in light of the pressing reality of climate change and bee colony collapse, do we see robotic bees in our future? Would swarms of artificial insects even be desirable?

by   -   November 28, 2016
A plant-moving robot from Billerica-based Harvest Automation. Source: harvestai/YouTube
A plant-moving robot from Billerica-based Harvest Automation. Source: harvestai/YouTube

To meet rising food demands from a growing global population, over 250 million acres of arable land will be needed – about 20% more land than all of Brazil. Alternatively, agricultural production will need to be more productive and more sustainable using our present acreage. Meeting future needs requires investment in alternative practices such as urban and vertical farming as well as existing indoor and covered methods.

by   -   November 19, 2016

By Ethan Bilby.

Field robots and plane-based remote sensors can patrol the earth and the sky to monitor the gases that cause climate change. Standing on three large wheels that help it avoid getting stuck in the soil, the Field Flux robot is able to lower two sampling chambers held on large arms to test soils for tiny amounts of nitrous oxide (N2O).

by   -   November 10, 2016
Source: Nesta.org, Precision Agriculture
Source: Nesta.org, Precision Agriculture

Farmers, ranchers and growers the world over are transitioning to precision agricultural methods, i.e., subdividing their acreage into many unique sub-plots — in some cases right down to the individual plant, tree, or animal — thereby enabling increased productivity, trace-ability and lower overall costs. Low-cost aerial vehicles, sensors and cameras are integral to the process and are being used to map, observe, sense and spray.

by , and   -   October 21, 2016

Saga Agriculture Robots

Swarms of drones will help farmers map weeds in their fields and improve crop yields. This is the promise of an ECHORD++ funded research project called ‘SAGA: Swarm Robotics for Agricultural Applications’. The project will deliver a swarm of drones programmed to monitor a field and, via on-board machine vision, precisely map the presence of weeds among crops.

Additionally, the drones attract each another at weed-infested areas, allowing them to inspect only those areas accurately, similar to how swarms of bees forage the most profitable flower patches. In this way, the planning of weed control activities can be limited to high-priority areas, generating savings at the same time as increasing productivity.

by   -   September 14, 2016

view_from_cab_960_613_80

PrecisionAg’s editor Eric Sfiligoj has prepared a list of the top 10 technologies that are shaping precision ag today. Most involve some level of robotics, navigation, sensors and variable rate dispensing.

by   -   September 6, 2016
Case IH autonomous concept vehicle. Source: cnhindustrial
Case IH autonomous concept vehicle. Source: cnhindustrial

Case IH (Case New Holland International Harvester) displayed their new cab-less tractor at a farming show in Iowa. The presentation was to show off what they hope will be the future: an autonomous tractor without a steering wheel, pedals or a cab for the driver.

by   -   August 8, 2016
Source: Wyss Institute
Source: Wyss Institute

Originally pioneered at the Harvard Microrobotics Lab, in collaboration with Northeastern University, RoboBees are inspired by nature and designed for an important reason: wild pollinators — such as bees and butterflies — are declining at an alarming rate. 75 per cent of the world’s food crops depend at least in part on pollination, putting global food supplies at risk, according to the World Economic Forum.

by   -   July 15, 2016

A variety of robots and tools are being created to solve one specific piece of the environmental climate change crisis. Together, the engineers who develop them and the bots doing the work will be able to make a difference and lessen the impact of human activity destroying the planet.

interview by   -   May 21, 2016

Ladybird

In this episode, Ron Vanderkley interviews James Underwood from the Australian Centre for Field Robotics. Underwood discusses his work on an autonomous vegetable harvesting robot, Ladybird.

by   -   May 13, 2016

With warmer winters and drier summers, climate change might even be having an effect on your favourite bottle of wine.

by   -   May 4, 2016
Source: Deepfield Robotics
Source: Deepfield Robotics

Farmers are increasingly under pressure to feed more people. The UN predicts that the world population will rise from 7.3 billion today to 9.7 billion in 2050. This growing population has become pickier about the food they eat. In the EU alone, the organic market grew by 7.4% in 2014 with sales valued at €24 billion. Beyond organic food, there is an overall push to make farming greener by using less water and pesticides.

by   -   April 27, 2016

CampFromAboveYou are faced with a few thousand hectares of rainforest that you know harbours one or more orangutans that you need to track down. Where, how, and why do you start looking?

by and   -   April 27, 2016

New Zealand country map polygonal with spot lights placesNew Zealand’s government innovation agency Callaghan Innovations and Silicon Valley’s innovation non-profit SVForum organized Transforming AgTech, an event bringing together New Zealand and US agricultural startups in typical Silicon Valley style.

Silicon Valley Robotics Rich Mahoney and Andra Keay led a panel on robotics and agriculture. Here, they highlight NZ startups and innovation groups present at the event.





Robolution Capital
January 25, 2013


Are you planning to crowdfund your robot startup?

Need help spreading the word?

Join the Robohub crowdfunding page and increase the visibility of your campaign