Lettuce-Bot Weed-Killing Robot Funded

A weed-killing robot called Lettuce-Bot under development by Stanford University alumni has just received $3.1 million in funding from Khosla Ventures. The company, Blue River Technology, is developing a device intended to compete with chemical-intensive agriculture.

The device uses computer vision techniques to identify weeds, and then uses more direct methods like carefully targeted steam to kill weeds, and leave healthy desirable plants like lettuce alone.

Crops like lettuce are ordinarily thinned and weeded by hand using hoes. Teams of 20-30 people comb lettuce fields to accomplish this process without herbicides - a very labor-intensive process.


(The future of organic farming)

“We intend to invest the proceeds of this round in growing our engineering team and accelerating our new product roadmap,” said Jorge Heraud, co-founder and CEO of Blue River Technology. “Our culture fosters extreme innovation aimed at real-world problems. We are looking for passionate engineers to advance the boundaries of computer vision, machine learning and robotics and help us reinvent food production. ”

“With global population expected to increase to 9.5 billion by 2050, increasing food production in a sustainable way is going to be one of the great challenges of this century,” said Vinod Khosla, founder of Khosla Ventures. “Blue River Technology’s solution will not only be more cost effective than current solutions, but has the potential to reduce U.S. herbicide use by over 250 million pounds a year.”


(Computer vision detects and distinguishes individual desirable plants)

Farm robot enthusiasts enjoyed the agricultural robot pest controller from Michael Crichton's 1985 film Runaway.


(>Runaway agbot!)

Philip K. Dick fans may also recall the robot gardener from his 1955 story War Veteran.

Pick one of these agricultural robot links:

Also, if you are interested in machine vision, you should take a look at this very early reference to computer vision from The Metal Giants, a 1926 short story by Edmond Hamilton.

I'd also like to point out that I've turned comments back on and the contact form is also open.

From Blue River Technology and Business Wire via Future Timeline.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/18/2012)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Agriculture ")

Mashambas Skyscraper Farm Design Wins
'...a towering eighty-story structure like the office In-and Out baskets stacked up to the sky.' - Poh and Kornbluth, 1952.

Self-Driving Tractors From China Plan Ahead
'Machines that seemingly with full consciousness walked out into the fields to do their daily work.' - Otfrid von Hanstein

John Deere Self-Driving Tractor
'The huge plow... seemed to shake itself - and began to move back southward.' - Otfrid von Hanstein, 1935.

SWEEPER Robot Peter Piper Picking Peppers
'... little machines, that went from plant to plant, apparently on caterpillar tracks, cutting off the ripe fruit.' Otfrid von Hanstein, 1935.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Road Noise Charges Electric Cars With Peugeot Piezoelectric Billboard
''... major cities of Earth have free electrical power conveniently processed from their own noise.'

Unsinkable Metal Latest Gates Obsession
'A metal... light as cork.'

M-Blocks 2.0 Self-Assembling Robots
'Faster the cubes moved...'

NASA 'Broomstick' Recalls SciFi Ideas
'The appearance was enough like a giant witch's broom to justify the nickname.'

Orbital Display's Low Earth Orbit Advertisements
'A vast circle of scarlet stars came up into the greenish desert dusk.'

Neuromorphic Computing Hardare
'He had constructed an organ, a brain, of metal, entirely inorganic and lifeless...'

Vascularized Human Skin 3D Printed
Hey Fishboy!

Trillionaires Still Earth-Bound
'I shall never forget the sight... when the yellow gleam of the precious metal appeared under the star dust.'

Digit V2 Bipedal Robot From Agility Robotics
Oh, and now I suppose someone will develop the robotic porch pirate.

3D Printed Dubai Building Is World's Largest
'This thing will start at one end of ...a house and build it complete to the other end, following drawings only.'

Grow Plants On Moon Or Mars!
'In contrast to the airless desolation outside, the interior of this five-acre greenhouse was the one most desirable place to be.'

California Gets Shockwave Rider-Style Avoidance Zones
'It was cheaper to pay the refugees to go without up-to-the-minute equipment.'

Microbot Interstellar von Neumann Explorers
'Evidently they have never had a planet of their own...'

Hail SmartCan! Your Trash Bin Takes Itself Out
'...a waste can twenty feet away stirred into life.'

Finally! Microsoft Surface Neo And Surface Duo Implement Excellent Courier Idea
'Runcible, whose pages were thicker and more densely packed with computational machinery...'

Tap Strap 2 Now With Air Mouse
'He waved his hand and the circuit switched abruptly.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.