Pesticides and pesticides have a bad rap. It does so even as its bio-based use becomes more common. They’re not just used to kill insects. They protect plants from rodents, fungi, germs and other plants. However, incorrect use can damage your health. What is the solution? Perhaps the laser robot that will replace pesticides.
The alternative is a project coordinated by researchers from the Center for Automation and Robotics. It is a mixed center of the CSIC and the Polytechnic University of Madrid. He will use a laser to remove weeds from the crops. In this way, you offer a sustainable alternative to the excessive use of these chemicals. In fairness, these chemicals guaranteed the nutrition of millions of people for decades.
This is the project called Welaser. It is funded by the European Union under the Horizon 2020 program and has a budget of 5.4 million euros. The prototype consists of an autonomous vehicle or robot with an image processing system with artificial intelligence. It will distinguish weeds from crops (read well). It then detects the meristems of the weeds (tissues responsible for their growth) and uses a high-powered laser to clear them up. The vigilante group of plants.
“This technology focuses directly on the meristems and does not use pesticides or pesticides. Provides a neat solution to the weed removal problem. This will help to significantly reduce the chemicals in the environment, ”explains Pablo González de Santos. He is a CSIC scientist and project coordinator. “In this way, agricultural productivity can be increased and, at the same time, greater ecological sustainability achieved. It also improves animal and human health, ”he adds. González Santos’ team will be responsible for the intelligent coordination of all subsystems, including the generation of emissions and the autonomous navigation of the mobile robot.
Weeds that grow in agricultural crops are characterized by their high dispersibility. They are persistent and reduce the plantation’s yield. To get rid of them, chemical products are often used that deteriorate the properties of the soil and harm its beneficial organisms. The laser robot that will replace pesticides (Welaser) will focus on wheat and corn crops that are most relevant in the European market. Also those of beets and carrots. It is expected that there will be a prototype in 2023 which will then need to be commercialized.