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Farming robot makes its debut in China

The first farming robot is now operational in China, as part of an effort develop an autonomous farm.

Developed by Fujian Academy of Agricultural Sciences and Fujian Newland Era Hi-Tech Co Ltd, the robot is part of their efforts to build an autonomous running farm, reports China Daily.

The white, 5G-enabled, sensor-rich agricultural robot can move between 2 rows of leafy greens in a greenhouse, collect data about the plants, and feed it back to the control room.

12 cameras

The robot’s head is equipped with two 5 megapixel cameras as the “eyes” and two 7 megapixel cameras as its “ears”. With sensors at the top of its head and mouth, the robot can also detect wind velocity, carbon dioxide levels, humidity, temperature and other data about the natural environment of the green house.

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With AI algorithms that are being developed, the robot can use the data to determine the plants' health condition, pest control conditions, or even pick fruit with a bionic hand in the future. - Photo: Fujian Academy of Agricultural Sciences (FAAS) and Fujian Newland Era Hi-Tech Co., Ltd
With AI algorithms that are being developed, the robot can use the data to determine the plants' health condition, pest control conditions, or even pick fruit with a bionic hand in the future. - Photo: Fujian Academy of Agricultural Sciences (FAAS) and Fujian Newland Era Hi-Tech Co., Ltd

The farm robot has been successfully tested for compatibility with the 5G mobile communication technology, which allows the data to be analysed by computers enabled by AI in the control room more efficiently.

Robot determines plants’ health condition

“Currently, the robot can inspect farms automatically and collect data samples used to power various applications. It can determine plants’ health condition and decide if pest control measures are warranted,” said Chen Li, deputy director of marketing at Newland.

Chen told China Daily that the robot is still a prototype. The goal is to develop versatile robots that can even pick fruit with a bionic hand in the future.

“Based on the mass agricultural data and images we have acquired, we hope to build an optimised plant growth model to achieve automatic control of the growth environment and early warning of pests and diseases,” Chen added.

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