Vineyard Imagery and AI
Crop scouting is a vital activity in farming, not only for pests and diseases, but for water and nutrient stress, harvest timing, and many other considerations. Bloomfield Robotics has developed a highly sophisticated camera that allows vineyard managers to take pictures of individual vines while driving down the row at speeds up to 40 mph. Here’s CEO Mark DeSantis.
DeSantis… “We take pictures of plants. Individual plants. I make that point by saying not crops, but individual plants, wherever they are. And then we use AI to determine the health and performance of that plant. The technology was developed at Carnegie Mellon over about 10 years, was spun out about 15 months ago and licensed by this company when it was founded, and we haven't looked back.”
DeSantis says part of the value here is getting images from a perpendicular angle.
DeSantis… “So using humans is variable. It's costly. So drones came to the rescue, the hope was. And drones do provide useful information. The problem with that using aerial observation from above, you can't see the fruit. There are crops, plants, where you need to get perpendicular to the plant. And so for us, it's about taking an image of a plant, getting perpendicular to it, and then using that as the basis for our analysis.”
The young company is already working with a handful of winegrape and table grape growers in California.