Akson Robotics is a new AI and Robotics start-up. They focus on a greener and more efficient agriculture through precision farming, where being green is profitable. Akson’s solution detects and maps weeds and crops on drone images through AI (Deep learning) on a per-plant level. These mappings are used to generate spraymaps for spraying machines/drones to enable precision spraying in agriculture rather than the conventional method of spraying full fields. This way the farmer saves money while spreading less chemicals over the fields.
Interview with Albert Sonne Olesen, CEO and Co-Founder of Akson Robotics.
Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?
Albert Sonne Olesen: Our activities within precision agriculture can be divided into three areas:
First, for conventional farmers, agronomists and third-party pilots can upload images of fields to our platform and then inspect, edit and export spraymaps.
Secondly, for organic farmers our maps can be inspected to gain statistics and important information about the overall health of the fields. The platform also supports live GPS tracking on top of the map if the farmer is present in the field.
Finally, other precision agriculture solutions that rely on advanced image detection capabilities, such as weeding robots or fruit picking robots, can send images to us and get the mappings or detections polygons returned.
E.E: What’s the news about new products?
A.S.O: We’re launching the first iteration of the platform in March 2023, where farmers, consultants and pilots will be able to start using the solution on grass and clover fields. Then throughout the year we will make releases that cover other basic crops like wheat and sugar beets.
E.E: What are the ranges of products?
A.S.O: Our main product is the web platform where customers will have access to processing of all the crop types we support. However, it is also possible to get tracking and data mapping of historical data to track the effects of various treatments on the fields.
E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?
A.S.O: The agriculture market is heavily influenced by tradition and as such innovative solutions are often met with skepticism. However, with the increasing political pressure from EU or national initiatives, we experience farmers are opening up for innovation and realize that innovation is the future.
Many countries are currently experiencing a huge advancement in “AgTech” driven by precision farming initiatives, leading to a hot industry for start-ups.
E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?
A.S.O: A lot of farmers are getting pressured to be more environmentally friendly but this needs to be done without cutting profits. Therefore, a lot the investments made by farmers fit under the precision farming umbrella where technology enables optimization on various aspects of the farm, meaning they move to be greener but also increase yield at the same time.
E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?
A.S.O: Corresponding with the market trend of optimizing resources, we see a lot of IoT systems or system platforms being developed that interface with equipment already owned by the farmers, so they cut cost without having to invest in new machinery. These systems often deal with one or two steps in the pipeline from planting seeds to optimizing stock feeding.
Also, we see more and more robot systems being deployed on innovative farms where they replace traditional man-operated vehicles or machinery.
E.E: What estimations do you have for 2023?
A.S.O: We believe that the snowball of precision agriculture will continue to roll and grow. 2023 will be the year where a large portion of farmers will take steps to optimize and digitize their farms and realize that this is the future, and they need to keep up.
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