SpaceTime Labs and Small Robot Company have announced an agreement to co-develop swarms of fourth generation autonomous aerial and terrestrial robots to transform Latin American Agriculture with Per Plant Farming Solutions. Charlotte Cunningham reports.

SpaceTime Labs is a leading Brazilian artificial intelligence company founded in 2014 that develops and operates automated platforms for planning, optimisation and risk management of resource-intensive sectors exposed to climate and water risk.

The strategic partnership with Small Robot Company will focus on co-developing an on the ground, end-to-end “per plant” planting, weeds, pests & disease  management and nutrition management Farming as a Service (FaaS) value propositions delivered through an integrated delivery “sense-predict-act” value chain for all key commercial crops in Latin America.

The companies will work with leading Brazilian and Argentinian farmers to prototype, test and scale Per Plant Farming – maximising yields while reducing the impact on the environment.

Dramatic uplift

The first intended outcome of Per Plant farming is a dramatic uplift in yields. Per plant farming exists today on a small scale in research institutes and in trial farms, where scientists are able to achieve yields which are 235% higher than the in-field commercial average for wheat and 150% higher than the in-field commercial average for corn. In addition to increasing yields, “per plant” farming will increase farmer profitability and dramatically reduce the negative impacts of industrial farming on the environment.

Small Robot Company believes this Per Plant Farming model will become the dominant agricultural system by 2040. “The opportunity is immense,” says Sam Watson-Jones, co-founder of SRC. “Latin America is ahead of the curve for agritech innovation. Our strategic  partnership with SpaceTime Labs means that we can now enter this market with confidence.

“Now is the time for us to work together to create a more sustainable farming model in Latin America, starting with Brazil and Argentina. The recent huge advances in agtech finally make this possible and farmers are integral to the environmental solution.”

The UK International Trade Secretary Liz Truss also expressed her delight regarding the partnership. “The UK is a world leader in technology and is at the forefront of the Agri-Tech industry. We have pioneering scientists and expert farmers, so it’s fantastic to see British businesses like the Small Robot Company reach international markets and develop new innovative technology for Latin American farmers.

“This is just one great example of the global trading opportunities out there for UK Agri-Tech industry.”