Using technology to grow safer food

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Robots that fight weeds
By Michelle Robertson
A new form of digital agricultural technology could reduce the need for herbicides and the genetically modified (GM) crops that tolerate them. The ecoRobotix is a solar-powered robot that looks like a table on wheels. It scans rows of crops with its camera, identifies weeds and then zaps them with jets of blue liquid from its mechanical tentacles. This high tech method of protecting crops plant-by-plant could revolutionize farming, and its founders believe it could reduce the amount of herbicide farmers use by 200%! They say that their ‘See and Spray’ weed control machine would also allow the use of herbicides that are less harmful. “Precision spraying could mean that older less destructive herbicides, whose effect has worn off on some weeds, could be used successfully in these targeted doses.”


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