John Deere’s See & Spray technology has been named a Best of Innovation honouree in the robotics category at this year’s CES Innovation Awards. The Consumer Electronics Show, revered as the world’s most influential technology event, took place in Las Vegas, Nevada on January 5-8 this year. The show awards’ robotics category highlights programmable or otherwise intelligent machines capable of performing specific tasks or replicating human movement or interactions. Products are reviewed and scored by a panel of judges comprised of designers, engineers, and technology media. Products are also evaluated on their engineering and functionality, aesthetics, and design - what makes the product unique and innovative. Those with the highest rating receive the Best of Innovation distinction. See & Spray is a technologically advanced robot that leverages computer vision and machine learning to detect the difference between plants and weeds and target application of herbicide on the weeds, aiming to prevent application waste and reduce costs. The technology uses deep learning, cameras and robotics to distinguish plants from weeds, in line with Deere’s overarching goal of each plant being treated individually and providing only and exactly what each plant requires. John Deere chief technology officer Jahmy Hindman said Deere is committed to providing producers with technology and innovation to improve their operations. “The opportunity for technology in agriculture continues to inspire us to develop cutting-edge smart machines, systems and solutions to treat each plant individually and support our customers,” Hindman said. “John Deere is at the forefront of innovation, and with technology like See & Spray, we’re helping our customers maximise sustainability, profitability, productivity and visibility so they can focus on the important work of feeding a growing world population.” AFGRI precision ag manager Josh Bracken said once available in Australia, See & Spray has lots of advantages, in relation to its interactions with other tools. “As we will only be spraying plants in field, the application map can be used to create very accurate weed density maps to help verify the effectiveness of other weed seed control practices,” Josh said. “By using Operations Center, we can also compare the total product applied for previous years using conventional spraying versus See & Spray and effectively compare cost savings.” Customers are advised See & Spray technology in this format is not currently available in Australia. However, See & Spray Select which uses the integrated camera technology to detect green plants instead, is an available option on new model 400 and 600 Series Sprayers. For more information, contact your local AFGRI branch today.
Note: This year’s CES awards was also the platform for Deere’s latest release, the John Deere 8R autonomous tractor. Stay tuned for a double-page spread in this month’s AFGRI TechTalk looking into the new machinery set to revolutionise the industry.