With the help of robots, agriculture could be carbon negative. Agriculture typically utilizes heavy machinery, emitting carbon into the atmosphere. Engineers have created a small solar-powered robot specifically for farm work. Combining solar-powered farming robots with the overall photosynthesis of the farm can produce a carbon-negative operation.
These autonomous robots use an AI to identify wanted vs. unwanted plants. They can cover up to three acres in a day, using two robotic arms beneath to weed out the unwanted or propagate the desired plants. This lightweight robot also reduces the soil compaction, allowing roots to grow deeper, improving soil fertility and carbon storage.
“Right now, agriculture is about 16% of carbon emissions. In the future, it has the potential to go negative, by reducing diesel emissions, soil compaction, chemical usage and reducing tilling,” said Richard Wurden, CEO at Aigen. Partnering with the latest technology in robotics and renewable energy could allow agriculture to adapt to the increasing demand for food and reduction of global carbon emissions.