Technology

Solinftec debuts new robot designed to detect and spray weeds

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Agricultural robotics startup Solinftec has today announced an expansion to its robotics lineup with the Solix Sprayer, a robot designed to detect and spray weeds.

Designed in partnership with McKinney Corp. which is producing and manufacturing the robot, the Solix Sprayer is described as deploying new technology that helps producers reduce their chemical inputs and deliver a lower carbon footprint and environmental impact.

The Solix Sprayer robot offers autonomous and sustainable spot-spray applications on growers’ fields. Similar to the existing Solix Scouting robot (pictured), the spray robot is powered by four solar panels that control the drive system and the spray system. The robot has a built-in reporting feature that provides information on crop populations, weed identification and densities, disease identification and thresholds, insect identification and thresholds, nutrient deficiency identification and densities and layers of maps for data analysis. The weed spot-spray maps with input analysis can service 96 acres per day depending on the field shape and terrain.

The robot is pitched as addressing the need to feed the world on a larger scale with a smaller impact. Solinftec claims that it is revolutionizing how farmers run their businesses with end-to-end mission-critical solutions, generating up to 70% efficiency improvements by turning data into action.

“Solinftec focuses on really solving structural problems in agricultural management and offers solutions that truly promote low-impact agriculture and not only measure or certify the footprint but offers a real solution to reduce your impact,” Leonardo Carvalho, Solinftec’s director of operations, said in a statement. “Weed detection is a leading issue in fields across North America and the Solix Sprayer is designed to not only monitor and scan fields like the original scouting version but detect and manage weeds with technology that allows the device to spot-spray into the plant instead of from above, eliminating drift and social compaction caused by larger machines and help lower environmental impact.”

Pilots for the Solix Sprayer are currently being run in partnership with the agricultural cooperative Grownmark Inc., Purdue University, Stone Farms and the University of Saskatchewan in Canada. The Solix Spray is slated to be commercially available in 2023.

Solinftec is a venture capital-backed company that has raised $146.6 million, according to Crunchbase. Investors include Circularis Partners, Unbox Capital, Gaia Securitizations, TPG Alternative & Renewable and AgFunder.

Photo: Solinftec

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