Solinftec’s robotic platform to hit the Canadian market in 2023Posted on June 8, 2022 by Sunny South News
By Erika Mathieu
Sunny South News
Solinftec’s robotic platform provides live, real-time data of crops to farmers mitigating loss and increasing yields. The fully autonomous robot is anticipated to be commercially available to wheat producers in time for the 2023 growing season. The AI and software as a service (SaaS) company, Solinftec was, “founded in 2007 by a group of automation engineers from Cuba,” and has since expanded to serve agricultural operations in Brazil, Colombia, the United States, and most recently, Canada. This field, known as agricultural digitalization, incorporates AI to perform cutting-edge digital feedback to farmers in to mitigate disease, improve crop yields, and reduce environmental impact through acute monitoring and data collection which provide growers with instantaneous feedback on the crop ecosystem.
The AI platform, “Alice A.I.” will capture information directly from the crops, and, “is programmed with a neurological network featuring a complex detection algorithm.” The device also has the ability to scan crops for overall health and nutrition needs or deficits, in addition to providing insights on insects or plant diseases. “It is intended to monitor the entire field ecosystem and provide real-time insights.”
The robot functions autonomously and can be programmed in advance by the user to focus on specific points of interest. According to a May 31 release, Solinftec has started to, “expand the launch of its new cutting edge AgTech robotic platform, Solix Ag Robotics,” into Canada and has entered into a partnership with the University of Saskatchewan and Stone Farms. In light of the expansion, the new robot will run at a select number of Canadian farms, including Stone Farms in Davidson, Saskatchewan with the intent of “adapt(ing) the technology to the specific needs of the Canadian growers and improve through fieldlearning, the algorithm for identifying weeds.
In a written statement, owner of Stone Farms, Rob Stone said the implementation of digital solutions in agriculture will, “play an even more critical role in our future,” and added, “We know Solinftec continues to innovate for the better of the agriculture economy and the addition of their robotics platform will only enhance our work together. We are excited about the possibility for this technology to improve the way we manage inputs with enhanced real-time information.” Due to the instant feedback and wide scope of data provided back to the farmer or agronomist with the technology, Solinftec has suggested the potential to reduce associated risks of pesticides is an anticipated outcome of its utilization. “Extremely low volumes (of pesticide) will be applied with high precision on the target, only in the required place, at the most appropriate time, without excess or loss.”
In addition to mitigating the use of unnecessary pesticides, it can provide data which allows for early intervention. According to Solinftec’s publicist, “capturing data in real-time makes it possible to make a preventive decision for the conscious use of chemicals, even before there is a pest infestation.” “As we’ve done in regions across the globe, we are taking the robot directly to the fields to learn at a hyper-local level how they perform,” said Leonardo Carvalho, Solinftec’s operational director lead in Canada. “The cuttingedge robotics technology will help develop agricultural solutions and support sustainable farming practices. Having the continued support of Stone Farms and the University of Saskatchewan during a season of testing the new technology is a great opportunity for Canadian agriculture.” Solinftec’s partnership with the University of Saskatchewan is aimed to, “validate field results provided by the new robotics technology.”
Although the pricing model has not been finalized, Solinftec’s PR representative Angela Tuell explained the company’s, “pricing concept is to provide an economic offering from the beginning. The goal is for the robot provides an immediate payback to the owner and Solinftec only plans to charge a portion based on those savings. For Canada, the values and future cost are currently being analyzed.”