Listen time: 40 minutes

The future of robotics in broadacre ag and herbicide resistance in the US

In this podcast, we learn about what’s happening in the robotics space for broadacre agriculture from Professor Salah Sukkarieh, who is an international expert in the research, development and commercialisation of field robotic systems.


He discusses how regulation now, rather than where the technology is at, is the biggest barrier to progress in this space. We also hear from University of Illinois Crop Sciences Associate Professor, Aaron Hager.

He gives us an update on how growers are dealing with herbicide resistance in the US and how metabolic resistance has been a real driver for change. He also shares what’s happening in herbicide resistance research in the states.

What some of the latest robots look like in ag

RIPPA, the Robot for Intelligent Perception and Precision Application is the production prototype for the vegetable growing industry. Based on the Ladybird design, the platform configuration for RIPPA was modified to make it lighter, rugged and easier to operate.

Mounted on RIPPA is VIIPA, Variable Injection Intelligent Precision Applicator, used for autonomous spot spraying of weeds at high speed using a directed micro-dose of liquid.

RIPPA has also been demonstrated in an apple orchards showing autonomous row following and changing rows, autonomous real-time apple detection and targeted variable rate fluid dispensing using VIIPA.

According to Professor Salah Sukkarieh, robots in broadacre agriculture could become more mainstream, if the regulation is such that it is not a barrier to that happening.

This is RIPPA, which stands for Robot for Intelligent Perception and Precision Application


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