Aigen’s swarm of agtech robots want to make farming carbon negative
Despite the fact that the main thing the robot can do right now is pull weeds, Aigen is resolute it isn’t building a weed-whacking robot. It professes to be determined to terraform the earth, and says it has a way toward making agriculture carbon negative. It probably put forward a convincing viewpoint, since it just declared a $4 million seed round drove by NEA, with interest from AgFunder, Global Founders Capital and ReGen Ventures.
The company is building solar-powered, autonomous robots that can zoom around in fields, using computer vision to tell friend from foe and plant from weed. In its first incarnation, the robot — in a fine “hot dog / not hot dog” impersonation — simply bumbles about, covering up to three acres of farmland per day.
“My family members are farmers in Minnesota, and I’ve been chatting with them for a long while. They’re truly encountering some issue with conventional agriculture approaches. Indeed, even the fanatic individuals that affection synthetic compounds, that adoration plowing the earth and different practices that have been delivering carbon in the air for millennia are beginning to acknowledge, hello, possibly we ought to be available to alternate ways of doing this,” reflects Richard Wurden, CEO at Aigen. He is especially energetic about tossing agribusiness’ carbon yield backward. “The present moment, agribusiness is around 16% of fossil fuel byproducts. Later on, it can possibly go negative, by diminishing diesel discharges, soil compaction, synthetic utilization and lessening plowing.”
The basic premise the startup makes is that overall, photosynthesis is carbon negative: Plants take CO2 from thin air and turn that into sugars – – carbohydrates, to be exact. In effect, the plants are taking carbon out of the air and sticking it back into the earth. Aigen argues that by changing technology and the ways agriculture is done, carbon neutrality — or even negativity — is within reach. The weed-picking robot is merely the first step along the company’s path, the founders claim — create something that has real value now, in order to expand the platform and fulfill more and more of its mission further down the line. “We are collecting data through images. There’s multiple cameras on the robot, and we are using an AI onboard that we’ve pre-trained to identify plants and various objects. Once we know what we are looking at, we either remove or propagate the plants with two robot arms underneath the robot,” explains Kenny Lee, the
company’s COO, making an argument for the company’s smaller, lighter robots. “Heavy machinery compresses the soil, which means that the roots grow sideways, instead of down. That’s a problem, because you can’t put the carbon the plants capture deep into the ground. By using fewer tractors and large commercial devices, you can change how agriculture works.”
“Aigen’s technology leverages best-in-class AI and robotics to provide an elegant solution to several of humanity’s biggest problems,” said Andrew Schoen, partner at NEA,” Their product unlocks nature’s superpower to sequester substantial amounts of atmospheric carbon at planetary scale.”
The company declined to disclose the valuation of its fundraise.
Aigen’s innovation use top tier AI and robotics technology to give a rich answer for a several of mankind’s most serious issues. Their products opens nature’s superpower to sequester significant measures of air carbon at planetary scale. My best wishes to the entire group of Aigen this will give them a huge accomplishment in future.Shishir Gupta, Founder and CEO, StartupLanes
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