Enabling Per-plant Prescriptions with Robotics and Artificial Intelligence
Talk outline: Small Robot Company is working to re-imagine farming with robotics and artificial intelligence to make it more efficient, profitable and sustainable. Our survey robots gather high-resolution imagery from across whole fields of arable crops, and we use the data to inform decisions on application of fertiliser and herbicide, generating spot-spray maps for existing machinery that allow farmers to apply extra inputs to the field only where they are needed. The scale of data gathered by the robots is enormous, with a typical survey of a 20 hectare field yielding a terabyte of high-resolution images. We train machine learning models to detect the individual plants in these images and couple these detections with image-based assessments of plant biomass to produce very high-resolution field maps to inform targeted crop treatment. In this talk, I will explore the systems that allow us to do this at scale.
About Tom Walters: Dr Tom Walters is currently Chief Technology Officer at Small Robot Company (SRC), and previously led the AI and data science team responsible for analysing the data gathered by SRC's field survey robots. Tom's background is in applied machine learning; prior to SRC he was a Research Scientist at DeepMind in London working on applications of artificial intelligence to a range of problems including speech synthesis for the Google Assistant. Tom joined SRC in 2021, having found a role that combined his previous experience with a newfound interest in sustainability.
Join us for the lecture - contact Sarah at the Secretariat for meeting details.