The future of vertical farming: the intelligent ecosystem.

Breakthrough innovation specialist Cambridge Consultants today announced Mamut, an autonomous robot that explores crop fields, capturing data on health and yield at the level of individual plants and on a massive scale. By automating data capture, Mamut gives growers regular, precise and actionable information on their crops, enabling them to predict and optimize yields.

Agriculture is under pressure to increase efficiencies, producing greater yields with fewer inputs and less labor. To meet these demands, growers need precise information on crop growth and health throughout the growing season. Automation of data collection is essential to providing growers with information at scale. Existing large-scale monitoring approaches use drones, which cannot capture information from beneath the crop canopy. Attempts to use ground-based monitoring have been limited by the requirement for additional infrastructure, such as cabling or radio beacons.

Mamut is an AI-powered autonomous robotic platform. Equipped with an array of sensors, Mamut maps and navigates its surroundings without the need for GPS or fixed radio infrastructure. As it travels the rows of a field, orchard or vineyard, cameras capture detailed crop data at the plant level, enabling accurate predictions of yield and crop health. Mamut integrates stereo cameras, LIDAR, an inertial measurement unit (IMU), a compass, wheel odometers and an on-board AI system that fuses the multiple sensor data inputs. This sophisticated blend of technologies enables Mamut to know where it is and how to navigate through a new environment, in real time.

Niall Mottram, Head of Agritech, Cambridge Consultants, commented: “Mamut is a practical application of AI, meeting a real and pressing need, particularly for growers of specialty crops where failure carries a high cost. AI systems are already being used to understand crop conditions, yield predictions and to enable weed identification, but our autonomous robotic platform can collect valuable and granular data below the canopy, where drones cannot see. This data enables farmers to treat each plant in their vineyard, orchard or field individually, and on the scale of massive industrial farming, optimizing yields and producing more output with less input.”

Mamut’s capability to perform simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM), enabling the robot to react and learn from unstructured routes in real time, was developed in navigation trials through the twists and turns of a 12-acre maize maze at Skylark Garden Centre, and at Mackleapple’s orchard, both in Cambridgeshire, UK.`

Notes to editors

Cambridge Consultants develops breakthrough products, creates and licenses intellectual property, and provides business consultancy in technology-critical issues for clients worldwide. For more than 50 years, the company has been helping its clients turn business opportunities into commercial successes, whether they are launching first-to-market products, entering new markets or expanding existing markets through the introduction of new technologies. With a team of more than 800 staff, including engineers, scientists, mathematicians and designers, in offices in Cambridge (UK), Boston (USA) and Singapore, Cambridge Consultants offers solutions across a diverse range of industries including medical technology, industrial and consumer products, digital health, energy and wireless communications. For more information, visit: www.cambridgeconsultants.com

Cambridge Consultants is part of Altran, a global leader in engineering and R&D services which offers its clients a new way to innovate. Altran works alongside its clients on every link in the value chain of their project, from conception to industrialization. In 2015, the Altran group generated revenues of €1.945bn. With a headcount of more than 27,000 employees, Altran is present in more than 20 countries. For more information, visit: www.altran.com

 

About Skylark

Skylark is a Garden Centre & Cafe based near March, Cambridgeshire, UK. A family run business offering high quality products in a friendly environment, also offering a top quality cafe serving fine foods from local suppliers. We thrive on giving excellent customer service. We offer a very wide range of products, including gifts, bird products, tools, animal feeds and obviously, plants.

The Skylark Maize Maze will be open between 13th July to 3rd September 2019. For more information, visit: www.skylarkgardencentre.co.uk

 

About Mackleapple

The Mackle family have been dedicated to growing and processing Bramley apples for over 50 years and remain solely concentrated on supplying the best of the crop to their loyal customers.

Our factories are staffed and managed by truly dedicated and professional people, with vast experience available in all aspects of apple production. From sales through production, delivery and admin, our people are focussed on customer satisfaction. For more information, visit: www.mackleapple.com

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