How Taranis is using AI to change agriculture
This article is part of our “How AI is changing the world” event series, held in San Francisco, New York, and Tel Aviv from June to November 2019, featuring insights by leading scientists and entrepreneurs on how AI will change healthcare, communication, agriculture, travel, and other industries. Check out all 12 talks here.
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Taranis is helping to combat common agricultural problems with a drone-based AI system that can quickly scan fields and alert farmers to problems — before they spread. Analyzing 5,000 images per second, the drone-based system can detect pests, diseases, weeds, irrigation problems, and much more, with an image resolution down to 0.1 millimeters per pixel. This allows Taranis to scan 2.4 billion leaves every month.
“Insects, fertilizer problems, diseases, weeds, lack of nutrition and irrigation — we’re losing more than 35 percent of the crop worldwide during the season due to these problems,” said Ofir Schlam, co-founder and CEO at Taranis. In the US these problems amount to over half a trillion dollars in crop losses.
For Ofir, a fourth-generation farmer, the technology is a vast improvement over the current field diagnostic method, one used for thousands of years: walking the field. The drones can cover 300,000 acres per month. Because they can spot blight weeks before traditional methods, these smart aerial assistants promise to help agronomists worldwide combat crop loss, reduce costs and avoid the need for more aggressive measures which aren’t as environmentally safe.