FarmWise, a developer of adaptive robots for agriculture, has announced a collaboration with Roush, a full-service product development supplier, to develop and test autonomous vegetable weeders in Michigan.
As part of the initial contract between the two, FarmWise and Roush will develop a dozen prototypes of the self-driving robots this year, with plans to scale to additional units in 2020.
“These are many of the key ingredients we need to manufacture and test our machines,” says Thomas Palomares, co-founder and chief technology officer of FarmWise.
“We were connected to Roush through support from PlanetM, and as a technology startup, joining forces with a large and well-respected legacy automaker is critical to support the scale of our manufacturing plan.”
FarmWise says that it offers plant-level farming as-a-service by leveraging the latest advancements in artificial intelligence and robotics. The company adds that it creates adaptable machinery to “help farmers increase productivity, grow healthier crops, and make food production more economically and environmentally sustainable.”
The autonomous farming robots that FarmWise and Roush are developing will provide high-precision weeding and thinning, with the ability to replace herbicides, save cost on labor and increase yield. The robots will also work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and will be adapt seamlessly to different crops to improve farming efficiency altogether.
“We work with the best engineers to bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and real-life products as we test these tractors in the field,” says Roush CEO Evan Lyall.
“We’re proud to support industry pioneers like FarmWise to solve the burning issues farmers face while building the new paradigm for the future of food production.”