Experts from British research institute Rothamsted Research are currently testing the latest in artificial intelligence for farming. It is the world’s largest agricultural robot, the Field Scanalyzer.
This international research centre focuses on strategic agricultural science, and trials on the Field Scanalyzer are currently being undertaken in the Arizona desert in the US, where it sends 10 terabytes of data/day to the centre’s computers for analysis.
The research team, comprising plant scientists and computer experts, described the 30-ton robot as a “platform that can produce a detailed description of canopy development across the crop’s entire lifecycle, with a high-degree of accuracy and reproducibility”.
Rothamsted.ac.uk explains how the robot is the size of a football field, measuring 70ft high (about 21,3m), 92ft wide (28m), and 1 200ft (366m) long. The metal structure supports a motorised measuring platform with multiple sensors, and is capable of monitoring crops within a 15m x 120m area. It is also fully automated and able to operate 24 hours/day throughout the year.
The Field Scanalyzer, described as the world’s largest agriculture robot, being tested in the Arizona desert. / Image: Rothamsted Research
The Field Scanalyzer facilitates data collection through sensors that simultaneously and non-destructively analyses of plant growth, morphology and physiology, and the data obtained provides a detailed report about the plants’ growth and health.