The typical images that come to mind when envisioning agricultural robotics are machines that pick products or apply chemicals. However, the SentiV is distinct in that it is intended to inspect crops for issues while independently roaming the fields.
The SentiV, developed by Meropy, does away with the customary rubber tracks or tire-covered wheels used by the majority of agri-bots. Instead, it travels on open-spoked wheels without a rim. These are designed to assist it in navigating rough, uneven terrain and to lessen crop damage as it passes through it.
On a computer dashboard, users begin by marking the field’s perimeter coordinates. The SentiV uses an embedded global navigation satellite system (GNSS) module to locate itself in relation to those boundaries after being deployed in that field. Then it starts to move across the field back and forth, moving from one edge to the other.
To do this, it uses two cameras to capture images of the plants from the top and bottom, respectively, gazing down at the foliage and up at the underside of the leaves. The robot’s height can be changed as needed by substituting wheels of various diameters.
AI-based algorithms are used to process images in almost real-time. Users are informed about the existence and location of issues like weeds, diseases, and pest damage. They are also kept informed of the plants’ present growth stage and informed when more fertilizers or water is needed.
Meropy mentions that the SentiV robot weighs 33 lbs (15 kg) and can cover approximately 20 hectares (49 acres) per day. A SentiV sensor-equipped lightweight scouting robot can move autonomously inside plots while examining the entire vegetation. Its distinctive wheel design ensures high-speed motion while keeping the crops unharmed.
SentiV utilizes two cameras while moving to capture images of harvests from both above and below. Algorithms trained to detect hazards, track development, and notice indications that the plant could require less or more water and nutrients examine data from these cameras.
Meropy created the agricultural robots to be modular so that farmers may inspect different kinds of crops. Its width is adjustable, and its height can be altered by replacing its wheels with a different size.
It serves as a tool for farmers to enhance their practices, a farm advice service for coops, and a crucial component for phenotyping optimization on experimental plots. With the data in hand, farmers will be better able to plan irrigation, learn how to use fewer pesticides, and how to manage their soil—all while saving time that would otherwise be spent driving from field to field.
SentiV earned the innovation award at CES 2023, and Meropy expects the robot will improve farmers’ quality of life by reducing the amount of time they spend in the field and helping them stay on top of crop profitability and environmental preservation.
It’s safe to say that the SentiV agricultural robots could instruct farmers on precisely where to use chemicals, minimizing their use and benefiting the environment in the process. Without a doubt, SentiV robots allow farmers to save time, and they also help to keep the environment cleaner.