Masatoshi Funabashi, a senior researcher at Sony Computer Science Laboratories, Inc., created a new form of agriculture known as Synecoculture, and he constructed the robot to operate with it (Sony CSL). Synecoculture, according to Sony CSL, combines human and artificial intelligence to develop a high-density yet diverse set of crops to increase biodiversity, reduce negative effects on the environment, and produce more food.
Nevertheless, cultivating so many distinct crops, especially in a high-density setting, calls for greater time and accuracy in order to tend to each type of plant without upsetting other surrounding plants with different requirements.
Therefore, in cooperation with Sustainergy Corporation and Sony CSL, a group of scientists under the direction of Takuya Otani, an assistant professor at Waseda University in Tokyo, created a robot designed specifically to operate in a Synecoculture system.
The robot can do numerous duties, unlike previous agricultural robots that are generally constrained to executing only one activity. The design enables the robot to move carefully and carry out its duties without disturbing the surrounding area or other plants.
Read More: Government Sends $2.4 Million to Nevada for Cloud Seeding.
It can navigate across uneven terrain because of its four wheels and robotic arm, which can extend and retract to help it get around obstructions. According to Otani, the robot can navigate slopes and avoid minor steps.
SynRobo includes a 360 camera to assist it to navigate around the farming area, while equipment like anchors and pruning scissors let it execute distinct jobs. However, SynRobo can also be directed by people if necessary.
In addition to the robot, which the researchers described in a recent publication for the journal Agriculture, the group also created cutting-edge techniques for more effective seeding. So that the robot could sow many plant seeds simultaneously without having to adapt to diverse shapes or sizes, they coated various seed varieties in the soil until the seeds were all the same size.
Since Synecoculture can thrive in neglected spaces, like solar panels on solar farms, the researchers expect that creating an effective robot will help to boost sustainable energy. However, they also noted that SynRobo can be used in more traditional agricultural applications with a few modest modifications.
Read More: Researchers Warn that By 2030, Global Freshwater Demand Would Outpace Supply by 40%.
Both conventional agriculture and syne coculture can make extensive use of it; Otani remarked that when working with various plants, the instruments must be adjusted. This robot will help to boost farming productivity and yield per unit area.
Testing on syne cocultures has reportedly proved successful in Japan and sub-Saharan Africa, according to Sony CSL. In addition, Otani disclosed that Sustainergy Company intends to market SynRobo in a number of underdeveloped and desertified regions, including Japan and Kenya.