Washington – An army of robots is moving across the American countryside, heralding a boom in food production in the future. In the American Midwest and the Mississippi River Delta, 25 machines powered by artificial intelligence technology work in newly planted fields and eradicate weeds from agricultural land at a rate of 12 miles per hour.
At first glance, these robotic machines, manufactured by the American company “John Deere” for agricultural mechanization, after being invented by a start-up company called “Blue River Technology”, seem to be traditional agricultural equipment, but in reality, each of these machines equipped with 36 cameras and a large number of microtubules. These machines use computer vision software to distinguish between crops and weeds, before targeting small nozzles to spray pesticides such as shoots into weeds, ending the method of spraying chemical pesticides on millions of acres of farmland to protect against pests.
In a report published by Bloomberg News Agency, Amanda Little, a professor of science journalism at Vandebrit University in Tennessee, confirmed that robotic machines, called “finished monitoring and spraying robots”, are expensive to install. is complex, and is currently only available to farmers working at the level of industries Agriculture, but its impact on the environment and human health will be remarkable in a few years.
Little added, “These machines are the vanguard of a new wave of agricultural mechanization that will help produce more food on less agricultural land while drastically reducing the use of chemicals. Smart agricultural machines can handle plants on an individual basis through them with insecticides, herbicides and even fertilizers and fungicides, and this type of precision will help reduce the use of agricultural chemicals and will allow the diversification of crops on one agricultural site. ”
Robotic agricultural machines have already succeeded in improving the productivity of agricultural land by 2%, as well as their ability to reduce work effort during cultivation and solve the problem of labor shortages, although the presence of these robots raises many concerns such as the additional cost and complexity of agricultural mechanization systems, which will make farmers increasingly dependent on Big Companies like John Deere.
Little believes that with the winds of artificial intelligence blowing in the field of agricultural mechanization, the administration of US President John Biden and investors should think about how to seriously develop this market, as funding should be focused on developing smaller and cheaper smart machines while supported. the rental economy sector that allows it Local farmers can rent these machines as long as they cannot buy and own them. The U.S. Department of Agriculture should also develop programs to help farmers use the new machinery to replace the old agricultural machinery.
The “Final Monitoring and Spraying” machine is one of seven equipment developed by John Deere, including automatic sowing equipment, self-propelled tractors and wheat harvesters that suit every crop and the nature of agricultural land.
“We are stepping up our efforts and tripling our investment in the robotics and artificial learning industries,” said Amanda Little Jörg Herrod, the company’s vice president who specializes in autonomous machine management. Herod has already helped grow the company’s AI team from 50 to 400.
Asked if this new mechanization would be used on a large scale, the company said: “The demand for it is already greater than what is available from it,” and Herod decided to give only 25 percent of the already available fleet of these machines because there is still a need to improve the financing model and services for this project.
John Deere has set up a price system that has not yet been announced, although it is not less than the price of a conventional spray machine of the same size, which is $ 500,000, in addition to usage fees according to the area in hectares, and it can calculated on a monthly or annual basis and includes the cost of maintaining and updating software. Herod aims to increase the company’s fleet of agricultural machinery tenfold annually so that by 2025 the company can place thousands of robotic construction machines on the market.
Little believes that the fears that artificial intelligence will make farmers more lazy or less responsible for agricultural activities are unfounded because this type of advanced agricultural mechanization is primarily aimed at improving the quality of agricultural land and the quality of food through the use of harmful substances.
She added, “The era of agricultural artificial intelligence has arrived, and if civil servants and investors play their part in supporting this responsible development and adopting these modern technologies, the result will be nothing less than a qualitative shift towards sustainable agriculture that includes various aspects of the food production process in a way that makes it possible to feed a warmer world (in climate change) and more densely populated.