Wilmington, Delaware, USA
July 20, 2021
Corteva Agriscience is working to take agricultural robotics to new heights using a Spot robot from Boston Dynamics. The company is among the first in agriculture to use this agile and cutting-edge platform to ‘walk’ between rows of corn, sunflowers and more. The robot has potential applications in field testing of both new seed and crop protection solutions with its ability to autonomously collect copious amounts of data, support the application of new crop protection discovery molecules, and inspect operations. Spot’s many capabilities can help Corteva more fully understand complex phenotypes to support its research and development selection processes.
Corteva has named its robot Anatoly (“Annie”) after Pioneer founder Henry A. Wallace’s beloved Anatolian Shepherd dogs. Annie works continuously in environments with uneven surfaces and high daily temperatures, protecting Corteva Agriscience employees from potentially dangerous situations. This lightweight and portable robot is another example of how Corteva is boldly pushing the frontiers of science to increase safety and sustainability.
"Annie’s proximal sensing capabilities and ability to execute specific actions at a certain plot or by individual plant will help us challenge assumptions about the way things are done,” said Geoff Graham, leader of seed product development for Corteva Agriscience. “The ability to leverage an autonomous robot to navigate row crop fields, while carrying and pulling instruments to collect data or apply chemicals more efficiently, has tremendous potential as we push the boundaries of what we can deliver to farmers.”
Spot robots automate sensing and inspection, capture limitless data, and explore without boundaries, making operations safer, more efficient and predictable. Corteva is also collaborating with Trimble, a leading provider of advanced location-based solutions that maximize productivity and enhance profitability, for the initial proof-of-concept and to integrate precise GPS guidance technologies with the Spot robot platform. The jointly developed solution between the three companies combines the unique mobility of the Spot robot with Trimble's autonomous navigation capabilities and Corteva’s innovative approach to helping farmers overcome agriculture’s most pressing challenges.