A new agtech robot enters the crop monitoring category – TechCrunch

I suddenly found myself writing a lot about agtech lately. Maybe it’s because spring has officially arrived this weekend – or maybe it’s that impending environmental collapse that is often the focus.

Anyway, I mostly lamented a general lack of traction among robotics in the category, so I’m always happy to see a new contender emerge.

A lot of these things are also probably on the top given that the World Agri-Tech Summit is currently taking place in San Francisco. Today at the event, Growmark and Solinftec announced a partnership to bring an unnamed agtech robot to market. The product is in the field for the rest of the year, and the companies plan/hope to bring it to market sometime in 2023.

The robot works in the same way as a number of products we’ve seen attempt to tap into a potentially large market, including the recent addition of Verdant and a bunch of startups that John Deere continues to buy into. It efficiently navigates the field autonomously, scanning things like crop health and nutrition, as well as potentially problem areas like pests and weeds. This information is collated and sent to the farmer for action.

“We are taking our robot directly into the field for practical implications,” Solinftec COO Daniel Padrão said in a statement. “This advanced technology will help develop agricultural solutions and support sustainable farming practices. We are honored to have such a progressive partner as Growmark to move forward with this first launch as we continue to work together to help farmers seize the opportunities in agriculture.

As a basic feature, I think it makes sense. Attempting to monitor large swaths of land at a micro-level is extremely difficult work, and it often means waiting for problem areas to turn into real problems before properly addressing them. There are a number of different angles taken here, from robots to drones to satellite imagery. Companies are also competing with robotics that monitor crops while performing other functions, be it weeding, picking or plowing.