Solar Powered Farmbot

15th July 2014
Solar Powered Farm Robot

Having just been away west of Alice Springs I was reminded how much modern Australia depends on solar devices from solar-powered satellites to parking meters. On my return I noted this item on solar-powered farm robots:

"The Ladybird robot just successfully completed a three-day test on a farm that grows spinach, onions, and beetroot in Australia. ... 'Ladybird focuses on broad acre agriculture and is solar-electric powered. It has an array of sensors for detecting vegetable growth and pest species, either plant or animal', Professor Salah Sukkarieh, one of the bots' chief developers, said in a statement. 'She also has a robotic arm for the purposes of removing weeds as well as the potential for autonomous harvesting'.  ... 'The robot was able to drive fully autonomously up and down rows and from one row to the next, while gathering sensor data', Sukkarieh said. 'Sensors include lasers, cameras and hyper spectral cameras'.  Unlike its robot farmhand brethren, the Ladybird is perhaps the unit most poised to take over a wide array of crucial farming tasks, from pulling weeds to monitoring crop health to actually harvesting the produce."

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