The Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) is currently developing a robot to detect plant diseases. It aims to help farmers increase yield.
They plan to use the AI-powered robot on a banana plantation to detect those with earl-onset diseases, said ASTI Director Franz de Leon told the Philippine News Agency in an interview. This is why the AI models are designed to detect banana-related diseases.
De Leon explained the existing practice in plantations is time-consuming and labor intensive. Fewer people working in the fields means a delay in detecting and addressing plant diseases. This means reduced yields and profits.
He added that the Robot for Optimized and Autonomous Mission-Enhanced Responses (ROAMER) project could significantly help agricultural farms to enhance daily operations with the use of AI-based methods in computer vision, sensing, and navigation.
The team is now working with a banana plantation in Mindanao to initiate the pilot study to put the robot into action.
“The main advantage of using the technology is to maximize the yield of a plantation. This is done by early detection of diseases that may have devastating effects on the yield. Hence, this project hopes to contribute to applying technology to improve food security in the country,” Antonio Banzon, the team’s project leader, said.
As of August 2022, the ROAMER project assesses the mobile robot platform to identify the most efficient design based on a set of constraints or characteristics, according to ASTI.
“Also being conducted are autonomous navigation and mapping using the virtually simulated environment and mapping algorithms of the robot,” it said.