Farm Robot Learns to Smash Weeds, Reduces Need for Herbicides

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Via Popular Science:

Bonirob, developed by Bosch’s Deepfield Robotics, is billed to eliminate some of the most tedious tasks in modern farming, plant breeding, and weeding. The autonomous robot is built to be a mobile plant lab, able to decide which strains of plant are most apt to survive insects and viruses and how much fertilizer they would need, and then smash any weeds with a ramming rod.

How does it know? Bonirob employs a type of machine learning (a stab at artificial intelligence) called decision tree learning. Researchers show Bonirob lots of pictures of healthy leaves that are tagged to be good, and pictures of weeds that are tagged to be bad, and the machine makes a series of choices based on observed in new data to judge whether a plant in the field is good or bad. Those algorithms are tweaked as the machine collects its own new images.

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Farm Robot Learns to Smash Weeds, Reduces Need for Herbicides

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