Andrew Bate, CEO of SwarmFarm Robotics, the leader in Integrated Autonomy for agriculture, took the stage at FIRA today to introduce the crowd of ag robotics professionals to our vision for the future of agricultural equipment.
"We envision a future where the most promising minds in technology are encouraged to turn toward solving the challenges faced by modern agriculture," said Bate. "We also see a future where there is no longer such a severe distinction between farmers and technologists, but rather a new class of farmer-technologists."
We recently announced that we successfully covered 1.1 million commercial acres, 60,000 hours of operation, and have reduced pesticide inputs by an estimated 600 tons with our autonomous robots.
"We want to empower farmers with better farming systems than what they had available ten years ago, enabling them to push the boundaries of sustainable farming practices and creating resilient, vibrant and strong rural communities around them," continued Bate.
This entirely different approach to autonomy on-farm provides more than another driverless tractor or a niche robotics solution; our system puts the farmer's needs first and creates a technology ecosystem around them.
"The breakthrough for us was when we realised that the new way to think about autonomous agricultural equipment in the modern era was through an ecosystem lens," said Bate. "An ecosystem specifically formulated to address the issues in your locality; a system that leaves the lowest possible footprint on your fields and helps you to do more with less."
Most of the agricultural equipment on the market today is extremely good at what it was made to do, which is to cover an enormous number of acres in very little time.
"So much of agriculture today is built around an answer in a can - where we just keep pouring more and more chemicals into our spray tanks, to solve agriculture's problems," said Bate. "For every problem we face in agriculture, we seem to be looking for a chemical to spray on our crops to solve it. While most of us acknowledge this is a problem, it's hard to know where to begin."
So we started by building a flexible, autonomous platform with the capability to integrate with other agronomic tools. We named them SwarmBots. This platform allows the brightest minds from around the world to create their own piece of technology that creates new solutions of agriculture that can be integrated onboard.
"The future of agriculture is happening now, but there is no way that one company can really invent everything that's needed to revolutionise agriculture," Bate said. "We need the smartest minds from around the world working on this; We need an army of developers solving agriculture's problems one app at a time. So come join us as a partner and help deliver the revolution that agriculture needs!"