How sustainable farming robots & AI can help feed and regenerate the world

Ben Scott-Robinson, Co-Founder and CEO of The Small Robot Company, giving his talk 'How sustainable farming robots & AI can help feed and regenrate the world' for Green Tech South West

Green Tech South West is delighted to welcome Ben Scott-Robinson, Co-founder and CEO of The Small Robot Company.

Arable farming, with 4bn hectares worldwide, could be the saviour of our environment. It could be the biggest store of carbon, and the biggest restorer of biodiversity.

Instead, it emits up to three tonnes of CO2e per hectare, and the massive, inefficient farm machinery wastes up to ninety percent of the inputs used, while crushing the soil and allowing the nutrients to be washed away.

What is needed is a step change in how farming is done. Not big and wasteful, but small and precise. Not industrial mass manufacture, but nurturing of each plant individually.

In this talk Ben will explain how using robotics and AI, his company have created a new model for regenerative and profitable farming. Welcome to the fourth agricultural revolution. Welcome to per plant farming.

About Ben

Ben Scott-Robinson is an accomplished digital entrepreneur focused on geospatial and mobility technologies. Ben co-founded Small Robot Company in 2017 with a vision to transform food production with accurate, smart, lightweight robots.

His background is in next generation geolocation technology and user experience design, shaping Ordnance Survey’s digital transformation and starting the first agency UX capability in Europe. A winner of Experience Innovator of the Year, Ben is an experienced technology entrepreneur and early mobile technology innovator, including a phone for blind people.

Watch the event video

To make it easier for you to find what you’re looking for, here’s the key timings in the video:

👋 08:52 – A welcome from your meet-up organisers, Ellen, Hannah and Mike with a brief overview of GTSW and what we’re about

📣 13:25 – Our famous 60 second intros – a chance for attendees to introduce themselves, ask for help and tell us about something the group might find interesting

💚 20:21 – Ben’s talk

❓54:22 – Q&A session

 🗓 01:06:57 – Round-up, other community notices and next event announcement

Q&A Answers

Ben Scott-Robinson, Co-founder and CEO of The Small Robot Company giving his talk 'How sustainable farming robots & AI can help feed and regenerate the world' for Green Tech South West

Q: Are variations in soil types taken into account currently? Or is this something in the pipeline?

“We are currently using third party data on soil types from companies such as Soyl to overlay with our plant data. We are also trialling multiple sensors to detect soil health. We haven’t yet integrated this into the crop model.

Q: Is there a platform and/or app that farmers interact with? how are you getting on with that?

“Yep, we have developed Wilma, a geospatial platform built to handle the huge quantities of data, and heavily tested to deliver a strong user experience. Having spent 5 years as head of experience at Ordnance Survey, delivering three award winning geospatial platforms, this is very import to me!

One of the perks of holding events online, and having such a wonderful and engaging community, is we share a huge amount of useful resources and information throughout the event. Here’s a summary of what we unearthed.

Links and resources

Community 60 second intros

An opportunity for you, our community, to (very quickly) share something with the rest of us. This can be anything from a green tech project or initiative you are working on, a request for help or guidance or even some knowledge/resource you’d like to share with others.

Tony Higson – works as a growth innovation specialist for Innovate UK Edge and Business West to help high growth tech business in the South West. Here to learn in order to be able to better support his clients as well as for his own personal interest in the environment and our ecosystems. Connect with Tony via his LinkedIn!

Andrew Brennwald – Relocated to the UK from the States where he volunteered for tech, diversity and inclusion initiatives for around 5 years. Now in the UK, he’s starting a game studio that makes games about environmentalism, combining environmentalism, education and technology to produce games with the aim of bringing brilliant minds into climate awareness space through entertainment.

Polls

How sustainable farming robots & AI can help feed and regenerate the world, Green Tech South West poll

Answer: 2 billion. Source

How sustainable farming robots & AI can help feed and regenerate the world, Green Tech South West poll

Answer: 50%. Source

How sustainable farming robots & AI can help feed and regenerate the world, Green Tech South West poll

Answer: 25%. Source

Our slides with upcoming events

https://bit.ly/3OAktsK