Machinery

News 1 commentlast update:19 Feb 2019

Kuhn I-Spray uses AI to locate and treat weeds

Kuhn is developing a sprayer that uses artificial intelligence to locate and treat weeds.

Kuhn is developing its I-Spray system in partnership with Carbon Bee. Kuhn I-Spray aims to drastically reduce the consumption of plant protection products. According to the company, initial figures show saving up to 80%.

Sprayer monitors vegetation

Fitted with hyperspectral sensors on the boom, the sprayer constantly monitors the vegetation being treated. Artificial intelligence is used to analyse the images and recognise adventive species that need treating.

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Using an on-board library, the Kuhn I-Spray can recognize weeds (in the red circles). Those are treated with agent, leaving the rest of the field untouched. - Photos: Kuhn
Using an on-board library, the Kuhn I-Spray can recognize weeds (in the red circles). Those are treated with agent, leaving the rest of the field untouched. - Photos: Kuhn

The purpose is to open the required nozzle to spray only the targeted plant. For the user, the main advantage is applying plant protection products only where they are needed.

Select targeted spectrum plant products

Kuhn calls I-Spray “a revolution in spraying logic”. As the technology is able to distinguish between different weed families, it is possible for example to select targeted spectrum plant products to gain higher efficiency of chemical application. “Furthermore, the treatment goal

is no longer preventive but to target one or more localised operations on weeds and only spray where necessary with the most suitable product”, says the company.

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The treatment goal is no longer preventive but to target one or more localised operations on weeds and only spray where necessary with the most suitable product.
The treatment goal is no longer preventive but to target one or more localised operations on weeds and only spray where necessary with the most suitable product.

Savings up to 80%

According to Kuhn, initial figures show considerable savings in plant protection products, that can reach up to 80% just by reducing the treatment on the target plant. “This technology opens the possibility of managing herbicide resistance, by using more targeted active substances,” says the company.

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Fitted with hyperspectral sensors on the boom, the sprayer constantly monitors the vegetation being treated.
Fitted with hyperspectral sensors on the boom, the sprayer constantly monitors the vegetation being treated.

Better agronomic knowledge of field conditions

Finally, maps of weed flowering will provide better agronomic knowledge of field conditions enabling new crop cultures to be measured, tested and developed on farms. These are just some of the issues Kuhn and Carbon Bee will be researching over the coming months.

The i-SPRAY concept will be previewed at SIMA 2019, awaiting the continuation of tests and farm trials prior to commercialisation.

Also read: Kuhn Oceanis trailed sprayer now isobus-compatible

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