Brazilian start-up FieldPRO is developing artificial intelligence that uses environmental data to send commands to autonomous John Deere machinery.
In the next 10 years, FieldPRO expects agriculture to be completely revolutionized by automation. “Market forecasts expect the autonomous agriculture sector to exceed $95 billion by 2027, according to research by Global Market Insights Inc. The German farm tractor industry alone has recorded deliveries of 32,000 autonomous units in 2021 and is expected to reach 45,000 units by 2028.”
These autonomous vehicles can perform functions on their own, without the need for operators in the cab, but still rely on operators to authorize their entry into the field, which in turn depends on the weather conditions and the quality of the soil at the site.
FieldPRO developed an artificial intelligence foundation that understands the environmental conditions of the rural area. Composed of an autonomous solution with hardware, software, and analytical tools, it is to improve the efficiency of field operations and reduce costs by preventing activities from being carried out in unsuitable conditions.
With 14 climate and ground sensors in its structure, the device monitors weather and plant conditions in conjunction with water and nutrient levels in the soil, allowing for an understanding of productivity and crop development. All autonomously, with no need for human intervention for data collection or maintenance.
Its weather forecast algorithm, integrated with meteorological models, uses innovative techniques to provide a hyperlocal weather forecast from the point where the device is located on the farm.
“Today, we have already sent automatic commands to farmers. The next step is for our artificial intelligence base to send commands directly to autonomous tractors, machines, and agricultural equipment, allowing them to enter the field in a sustainable and efficient way,” said Ricardo Sodré, founder and CEO of FieldPRO.
FieldPRO’s co-founder Mariana Vianna adds their algorithm ingests data collected from machinery when they are doing an operation in the field. Then this data is interpreted and integrated in FieldPRO’s meteorological model and software. “The idea is to understand the machinery behavior such as: tractor sliding, wind, temperature, humidity measured during spraying, seeding downforce, etc. Our AI will then use this data combined with the microclimate data coming from our device to create a unique footprint from the area.”
With the understanding of the uniqueness of the farm’s land and microclimate of the area the software can send commands to the autonomous machinery to execute a field operation to optimize use of inputs, preserve the soil and generate the best yield possible. According to Mariana Vianna the idea is to create a constant feedback loop between the machinery and FieldPRO’s software.
FieldPRO’s system will be compatible with John Deere and will be available in South America in the first quarter of 2023. Prices are not available yet.