Disclosure: AFN’s parent company, AgFunder, is an investor in Solinftec.
- Brazilian digital ag startup Solinftec and US-based ag cooperative Growmark will bring a new robot to market that provides precise field management for farmers.
- The as-yet unnamed robot connects to Solinftec’s AI-based ALICE platform and uses a detection algorithm to scan fields, looking for pests and weeds. This data is fed back to farmers, who can take action based on the ALICE’s recommendations.
- Growmark will trial the robot through the entire 2022 season, working with Solinftec to fine-tune the technology – with a view to brining it to market in 2023.
Why it matters:
Robots are gradually playing a more prominent role in ag. While many can handle one or two specific jobs — see TerraClear’s rock-picking bot, or autonomous weeding startup Ecorobotix — some players in the farm robotics industry are moving towards holistic systems that perform tasks, collect data, and close the loop by feeding insights back to the farmers.
The latter is what Solinftec and Growmark hope to provide with their new robot. “There has always been a pull between ag operations and the field’s ecosystem, but [this partnership is] bringing these together,” Solinftec CEO Britaldo Hernandez said in a statement.
Solinftec raised $26.6 million last year to further develop its precision agriculture tools with a focus on “mitigation, adaptation, and resilience to climate change” for farmers. Growmark has about 400,000 member-customers across the US and Canada, providing a large base of potential clients for Solinftec.