This Army of AI Robots Will Feed the World - Bloomberg


13 bookmarks. First posted by lynetter january 2018.


"On Reed’s field we notice a lot of blue-spattered cotton plants, while the weeds next to them are untouched. The machine is getting confused because some of the cotton is runty and withered—not as healthy as the cotton See & Spray is programmed to recognize. The robot needs to be fed first hundreds, then thousands, and eventually millions of images of cotton to learn the many variations of the plant, how its leaves change shape and texture over time, how they look when they’re sickly and healthy, and during all stages of growth. The robot’s ability to draw from this image archive and make distinctions and decisions is 'deep learning'. The Blue River team built the memory of See & Spray by going to a cotton farm in Australia, hitching a video camera to a modified shopping cart, and spending three months pushing it around different fields, uploading about 100,000 images of cotton. But the Arkansas cotton, struggling in a wet, cold spring, isn’t looking enough like the Australian cotton for 100 percent accuracy. Each day for a fortnight, Heraud’s team will take tens of thousands of new cotton images, and each day the robot will become more accurate."
a:Amanda-Little  p:Bloomberg-Businessweek★★  d:2018.01.11  w:3500  robots  agriculture  machine-learning  from instapaper
11 weeks ago by bankbryan
Heraud researched the scourges of agriculture: hypoxic dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico and Baltic Sea, the colony collapse of bees, soil degradation, and human health problems from allergies to cancers. “Everything tied back to the blind, rampant, broadcast spraying of chemicals,” Heraud says. He and Redden figured they could teach machines to differentiate between crops and weeds, then eliminate the weeds mechanically or with targeted doses of nontoxic substances. The two first considered hot foam, laser beams, electric currents, and boiling water. They’d market the robot to organic farmers, who spend heavily on chemical-free weeding methods including mechanical tillage, which can be both fuel-intensive and damaging to soil.

After months of research, they faced a disappointing truth: There was no way around herbicides. “Turns out zapping weeds with electricity or hot liquid requires far more time and energy than chemicals—and it isn’t guaranteed to work,” Heraud says. Those methods might eliminate the visible part of a weed, but not the root. And pulling weeds with mechanical pincers is a far more time-intensive task for a robot than delivering microsquirts of poison. Their challenge became applying the chemicals with precision.
Bloomberg  food  LettuceBot  automation  AI  robotics  Agriculture  2018 
january 2018 by zzkt
Or that’s what Heraud’s machine is supposed to do, but right now it’s on the fritz. Robots like controlled environments, and Potato’s delicate equipment isn’t responding well to the heat, dust, and the vibrations from the tractor. via Pocket
IFTTT  Pocket 
january 2018 by archizoo
"This Army of AI Robots Will Feed the World"
from twitter
january 2018 by peterjblack
Jorge Heraud is in a California lettuce field, and he’s about to lose his mind. It’s a balmy, cloudless day in October 2014. Salinas Valley stretches out around…
from instapaper
january 2018 by breau
Jorge Heraud is in a California lettuce field, and he’s about to lose his mind. It’s a balmy, cloudless day in October 2014. Salinas Valley stretches out around…
from instapaper
january 2018 by jrdodds
Or that’s what Heraud’s machine is supposed to do, but right now it’s on the fritz. Robots like controlled environments, and Potato’s delicate equipment isn’t responding well to the heat, dust, and the vibrations from the tractor. via Pocket
IFTTT  Pocket  instapaper 
january 2018 by drewcaldwell
Jorge Heraud is in a California lettuce field, and he’s about to lose his mind. It’s a balmy, cloudless day in October 2014. Salinas Valley stretches out around…
from instapaper
january 2018 by adrianhon
By early 2017, about a fifth of all the lettuce grown in the U.S. has been thinned by a LettuceBot
robotics  ind  agriculture 
january 2018 by lynetter