Alphabet, Google’s holding company, launches Mineral, which promotes robots and artificial intelligence for agriculture

Alphabet, Google's holding company, launches Mineral, which promotes robots and artificial intelligence for agriculture

Mineral which was originally a project created in 2018 over there X Moonshot Factorythe innovation laboratory ofAlphabetholding of Googlehas just become a full-fledged company.

“After five years of incubating our technology at X, Alphabet’s Moonshot factory, Mineral is now an Alphabet company”, said Elliott Grant, CEO of the young company in a blog post. He explains : “Our mission is to help develop thesustainable agriculture. To do this, we develop a platform and tools which help to gather, organize and understand new information on the plant world and to make it useful and exploitable”.

There is no time to waste in finding more climate-resistant crop varieties

And warns: “There is no time to waste in finding crop varieties more resistant to the climateto switch to less energy-intensive practices chemical products and fossil fuels, to improve the soil health and to restore the biodiversity ».

Three lines of work

Three lines of work have been defined by Mineral:

  • the development of detection technologies able to generate rich sets of data on plants and crops,
  • the organization of agricultural data from various sources for‘artificial intelligence (machine learning)
  • the development of powerful algorithmsand finally, the realization of research likely to significantly advance the fundamental understanding of the plant world.

“Helping farmers optimize yields while respecting the environment”

Thanks to robots equipped with cameras powered by solar energy, Mineral says it collects large-scale data by collecting information on multiple cultures worldwide.

“We started with a plant ‘rover’ that could capture huge amounts of high-quality images, and over time we developed generalized perception technology that can work on platforms such as robots, third-party agricultural equipment, drones, sentinel devices and cell phones” details Elliott Grant.

Mineral also conducts plant research with the aim of being able to provide analysis and information on the interactions between plant genetics, environmental impacts and agricultural management practices with the aim of “helping farmers to optimize yields while respecting the environment”.