As the population continues to grow, so too does the need for larger farm production. Larger farm production requires constant monitoring to alert the farmers when to take actions with their crops. Humans who manually monitor crops are both inefficient and incidentally destroy land/crops. Robotic ground monitoring technology still cannot easily overcome simple obstacles such as mud or rocks, and monitoring flying drones are not energy efficient.
Tarzan is a chimp-like robot, created by the Georgia Institute of Technology, that can swing across a wire.
Tarzan’s creators envision farms with wires hanging above the rows of crops. Tarzan would swing up and down the wires, monitoring the health of each crop in real-time. Tarzan could then send back images and advanced analysis to a farmer’s computer to identify when a plant needs more water, fertilizer, or other treatment.
Tarzan’s creators want to build a solar-powered version that could allow Tarzan to live amongst crops for months at a time.
Article Title: Tarzan-inspired Robot Swings Like A Champion
Website: Discover Magazine
The Stakeholders Using The Tech
The First Three Steps
1. The first step remains completing the build of a Tarzan that can efficiently swing to and from multiple wires, that is weather-resistant, that can successfully transmit photos/information to a computer, and that is cost-effective.
2. The creators need to test the prototype, whether on a simulated farm or partner with a farmer willing to build the overhead wiring system.
3. The creators need to collect data from the tests, make modifications to the robot, probably run some more tests, and ultimately attempt to assess whether Tarzan is more valuable than alternative solutions. Then they can consider marketing the robot.
“Also noteworthy is that this tech lowers the farming entry barrier. Sure there’s an upfront investment in the tech itself. However, now a farmer doesn’t need a strong agricultural background as they just have to interpret the data collected by the smartmoo. I imagine the smartmoo will even cut out the need for manual analysis and just present the farmer with action items.”