Autonomous Farming Robot Wants to Revolutionize Sustainable Agriculture, Can Lift 1,000 Lb

Grover robot by Iron Ox 7 photos
Photo: Iron Ox
Iron Ox Grover robotIron Ox Grover robotIron Ox Grover robotIron Ox Grover robotIron Ox Grover robotAutonomous Weeder
Sustainable agriculture continues to spread at an accelerated pace and farmers need all the help they can get in order to cope with the increasing workload. California-based company Iron Ox specializes in the use of robotics and artificial intelligence in agriculture, and Grover is the latest robot to join its team.
Described as a key component of Iron Ox’s broader farming ecosystem, the robot’s job is to assist in monitoring, watering, and harvesting various crops. Grover’s name comes from “growth” and “versatility,” and the smart machine is the creation of the company’s team of scientists and engineers. It was a complex project that took years of work. As explained by Iron OX, artificial intelligence, machine learning, computer vision, and robotics are essential in sustainable farming, allowing to grow more with less, and Grover features all of them.

Grover is both smart and muscular. It is equipped with multiple LiDAR systems and cameras, and it is strong enough to lift and move 6 x 6 ft (1.8 x 1.8 m) modules of plants throughout the greenhouse. The machine can lift up to 1,000 lb (453 kg), which is the weight of one module.

These modules are containers in which various vegetables and fruits are grown by Iron Ox. Grover uses its high-tech onboard equipment to locate them, and once it does, it gets underneath the module and uses its lift system to raise it and move it to a scanning booth for inspection.

After the modules are analyzed, they are transported elsewhere either for harvesting or to receive more nutrients and water.

Grover is just one example of how robotics can revolutionize agriculture. There are plenty of such machines being used for a wide variety of purposes. Another great example is the autonomous Weeder developed by Carbon Robotics. This massive four-wheeler weighs 9,500 lb (4,309 kg) and uses its 150W lasers to kill undesirable weeds in the fields. The Weeder is capable of destroying more than 100,000 harmful, invasive plants per hour, being able to cover up to 20 acres per day.
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About the author: Cristina Mircea
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Cristina’s always found writing more comfortable to do than speaking, which is why she chose print over broadcast media in college. When she’s not typing, she also loves riding non-motorized two-wheelers, going on hikes with her dog, and rocking her electric guitars.
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