Andreas Plieninger, Laurenz Altenmüller, Moritz Mangold
Acrai’s vision is to make agriculture more sustainable and efficient. It builds autonomous robots for the detection, localisation, and automatic removal of plants, the initial aim of which is to replace the use of chemical weed killers.
Chemical herbicides are problematic for several reasons. Their unknown long-term consequences for humans and the environment are leading to ever more stringent statutory regulations and prohibitions, and the general public is also growing more and more sceptical of their use. The biggest problem for farmers, meanwhile, is that weeds are becoming increasingly resistant, rendering herbicides useless.
Acrai develops autonomous agricultural robots that solve all the problems mentioned to the benefit of conventional and organic agriculture, as well as of humans and the environment. Its system combines deep-learning-based computer vision for detecting and localising crops with the automation of proven, purely mechanical methods of weed removal. The solution relies heavily on the use of GNSS to navigate and relocate robots on the field.
Acrai offers weed removal for a fixed price per hectare that can compete with chemical weed killers. This will completely dispel the worries of conventional farmers regarding the limited effectiveness of herbicides due to increasingly resistant weeds.