Based out of Toulouse France, Naïo Technologies is a clear leader in agricultural robotics, active in Europe, and now poised to expand globally.
Let’s take a moment to look at technology designed to gather data on the farm. The TerraSentia robot developed by EarthSense is just that. A robot who’s primary purpose or mission is to gather crop data, not just for the farmer, but for scientists, breeders, product developers, and agronomists.
Virgo by Root AI is a robotic arm that uses machine learning to identify when a crop is ripe and ready to harvest, and then with remarkable agility, maneuvers amidst other non-ripe crops, and carefully and gently harvests the crop.
Facebook is becoming active in the agricultural sector. As a company they build tools that can leverage massive amounts of data towards specific applications. In this case differentiating between weeds and desired plants, so that the former may be sprayed and the latter left to grow.
Greenfield robotics wants to eliminate the use of pesticides and herbicides entirely, by using robots as a means of controlling and enabling the growth of healthy crops.
The automation debate is never just about technology, or business, but rather the relationship between robots and humans, and the way in which automation impacts the farm, and the extent to which farmers have influence or agency.