Solinftec Solix sprayer robot uses the sun to auto-detect and spray weeds

31-08 | |
Photo: Solinftec
Photo: Solinftec

In addition to its Solix Scouting robot, Solinftec will soon have a new automated weed identification and control system on the market.

The new Solix Sprayer robot, designed to detect and spray weeds, will be available in 2023. It will also provide users with weed spot-spray maps with analysis on the amount of inputs saved compared to spraying the whole field.

Solix Ag Robotics uses Solinftec’s ‘ALICE AI’ platform, which orchestrates machine operations to align with producers’ objectives. The system has been developed with McKinney Corporation, an award-winning R&D firm that will do the manufacturing.

Pilot versions running in North America

Several pilot versions of the machine are currently running in North America – in the US in partnership with the ag cooperative GROWMARK and Purdue University, and in Canada, in partnership with Stone Farms and University of Saskatchewan.

It can service up to 96 acres per day depending on the field shape and terrain.

Solinftec is headquartered in São Paulo, Brazil and West Lafayette, Indiana, US. It was founded in 2007. The firm has more than 15 years of experience developing digitally-based crop production systems for various global regions and crops.

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Both autonomous and sustainable

The Solix Sprayer robot is similar to the Solix Scouting robot, which has been commercially available in Brazil since April 2022, and is powered by four solar panels that control the drive system and the spray system.

The AI software aboard continuously gathers information on crop populations, weed identification and densities, disease identification and extent, insect identification and thresholds, nutrient deficiency identification and densities, and NDVI and more.

“The Solix Sprayer is designed to not only monitor and scan fields like the original scouting version, but detect and manage weeds with technology which allows the device to spot-spray into the plant instead of from above,” said Leonardo Carvalho, Solinftec’s director of operations in the news release, “eliminating drift and compaction caused by larger machines.”

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The Solix Sprayer robot is powered by four solar panels that control the drive system and the spray system. - Photo: Solinftec
The Solix Sprayer robot is powered by four solar panels that control the drive system and the spray system. - Photo: Solinftec

More automated weed identification

Taranis, also based in Indiana with offices in Brazil and Israel, offers a drone-based AI software system that also achieves weed identification and provides recommendations for spot spraying and more.

Their system has sub-millimeter image resolution that distinguishes between different types of weeds, insect damage, disease lesions and various types of nutrient deficiencies. The imagery also incorporates satellite imagery.

In March 2022, Taranis announced an extended partnership with drone service provider Drone Nerds and drone-maker DJI. This will allow Taranis to achieve large-scale operational efficiencies and increase its acreage for ag retailers, co-ops and farmers.

Hein
Treena Hein Correspondent for Canada



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