It is a technological breakthrough that promises to solve the problem of weeds in scale agriculture in an ecological way.
The robot that will be in charge of replacing the traditional and harmful herbicides is called Gbot. The design belongs to a startup from Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina in order to develop a rural farm without agrochemicals and sustainable. It also promises to save costs and improve crops.
In the world there is a growing tendency to adopt healthier habits and a very strong awareness of caring for the environment. The new generations are being educated with this premise and technology is also adapting little by little to accompany this change.
In countries where the agricultural sector is strongly developed, such as Argentina, the use of pesticides in the fields to combat pests and weeds leads to environmental damage. These chemicals impact the soil, affecting crops, as well as being toxic to people.
From 1996 to the present, the use of agrochemicals in the field has grown exponentially. This is due to the fact that the weeds are increasingly resistant, therefore greater quantities are required.
In the last 22 years, they used more than 6,000 million liters of herbicides in the territory. According to the Chaco Argentina Agroforestry Network, the country leads the world table of glyphosate income with about 500,000 million liters per year, which affects 13 million people directly and indirectly. It is expected that in a few years, that figure will rise to 600,000 million liters.
In this scenario, the software developer Rosario Mapplics Mobile Solutions designed Gbot, an autonomous robot that removes weeds without applying agrochemicals: it uses laser rays and water vapor. In addition, it works on the basis of solar energy.
Gonzalo Saravia, CEO of Gbot comments: «In a year and a half, two years, the initial idea was mutating into what Gbot is today: an autonomous robot that through solar energy allows us to detect weeds with artificial intelligence and controls them using lasers and water vapor».
Some of its characteristics are:
- Use renewable energy
- Low costs for the producer
- Reduces pollution
- Eliminate the use of agrochemicals
- Allows collecting soil data that can be used for future plantings
- Works autonomously
«Today, the biggest problem in the country is the peri-urban areas, that is, the cities that are close to the fields and that are affected by the application of herbicide and glyphosate. What several municipalities in different parts of the country did was impose a law where in a certain number of meters it is forbidden to apply these chemicals, so that all that area, which is more than 2 million hectares in the country, does not have a solution , because they cannot use the herbicide and the weeds are constantly growing», Explains Saravia.
Gbot comes as a sustainable solution to these problems, but also as a convenient alternative in economic terms for the producer.
Gbot has a series of smart sensors that allow it to generate precision maps and obtain data that the producer could not otherwise know.
«For us, it is a mobile laboratory because it can take information and data from the soil, atmospheric data and from the crops. We process this information and the producer tomorrow with that information will be able to obtain better yields and will be able to know his lot much better.», Explains Saravia.
The robot is not yet for sale, but they are in full development to launch a beta version. «The idea is in March to have the product as close to the end as possible and to improve in the process. Today we have a prototype with which we receive a first investment of $ 500,000. That money allowed us to move forward, we have a period of 20 months to continue developing the technology and validate it. We estimate by the end of the year and start to commercialize it in series», Projects the CEO.
Entrepreneurship in technology from the interior of the country is not easy. However, Gbot promises to be one of the most revolutionary innovations in the agricultural sector and already dreams of opening the way in other important markets in the region.