Robots powered by artificial intelligence could farm more sustainably than traditional agriculture, claims one Silicon Valley company.
Agricultural technology start-up Iron Ox says that its mission is to make the global agriculture sector carbon negative. And they have just secured €47 million ($53 million) from investors, including Bill Gates.
CEO Brandon Alexander can't be accused of lacking experience when it comes to food production. He spent every summer of his childhood on his grandparent's farm, picking cotton, potatoes, or peanuts under the Texas sun. Yet, with a degree in robotics "precisely to escape farm work", Alexander says he couldn't shake the feeling that he could have a bigger impact working in agriculture.
"To really eliminate waste, to really get to that next level of sustainability and impact, we have to rethink the entire grow process," Alexander explains. Now, in the company's greenhouse in Gilroy, California, two robots named Grover and Ada grow basil, strawberries, and other crops using a hydroponic system.