William Bond Ai based in Ontario, Canada is utilizing agricultural robots to perform cultivation tasks in place of human workers. By using robots designed by a company called FarmBot, laborious tasks typically done by hand can be automated.
Nathaniel Morris is founder of William Bond Ai, and spearheads its cultivation efforts using robot and artificial intelligence technology. The robots scan ground area and can detect impurities such as mold, weeds or even male buds that can ruin an entire crop. FarmBot’s technology is already used to cultivate common plants and vegetables such as cucumbers or tomatoes, but can be specifically programmed to cultivate cannabis. Several other companies offer agricultural robot technology as well.
For now, agricultural robots are rare in the cannabis industry, until the trend begins to catch on. “Right now, it’s kind of an obscure topic,” Morris told NewJersey.com. “It’s not going to be obscure for long. [Cannabis] is going to be one of the first industries to be disrupted.” While companies like FarmBot are nothing new, training them specifically for cannabis cultivation is new.
Agricultural robots are being used on a smaller scale for home cultivation as well. An Israeli-based company called Seedo manufactures automated hydroponic grow boxes that operate in essentially the same way as robots. Boston, Massachusetts-based robotics developer Bloom Automation is designing a robot that detects cannabis stalks and can discern between leaves and buds using cameras with detailed vision capabilities. Another machine in recent development is the BloomBot V1.0.
A recent study from researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Boston University found a growing increase in reliance on robots that are replacing jobs. The lack of reliable research could also be boosted with the help of artificial intelligence and the use of robots. “Artificial intelligence is the first time we’ve had a tool worthy of the challenge of studying cannabis,” Morris added.
Robots and automation are coming whether we like it or not, and agricultural robots could soon replace trimmers and gardeners in order for companies to save money.