UWE Bristol research project receives award from Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland

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The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS) has recently awarded a Technical Innovation Award for technology developed by a consortium led by Soil Essentials Ltd, which included the UWE Centre for Machine Vision (CMV).

The awards recognise, showcase and reward the innovations and developments made by the manufacturers, distributers, providers and inventors of the agricultural sector.

Soil Essentials won a Silver award for their SKAi smart camera, which uses artificial intelligence to detect and target the spot spraying of individual weed species. The SKAi camera uses the cloud-based platform (KORE) to transform data, as well as working in conjunction with existing GPS and sprayer systems. It is claimed that the solution can vastly reduce agri-chemical usage up to 90%, increase efficiencies, and reduce costly inputs, alongside its environmental benefits.

“The detection and management of weeds in crops has long been a challenge” said Gregor Welsh of SoilEssentials. “The artificial intelligence we have developed with SKAi means that the detection and targeted spot spraying of individual weed species has now become a viable option”

Director of the Centre for Machine Vision, Professor Melvyn Smith commented: “CMV has been working with Soil Essentials since 2016 on computer vision and machine learning techniques for identifying weeds”. “It is highly rewarding to see this technology starting to have a real impact.”

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