EarthSense is a locally-founded tech company in the AgTech sector, and they're based in Research Park. They've been working on robotics in the agricultural world for a bit, and they were recently recognized by SuccessfulFarming magazine as one of 8 AgTech start-ups to keep an eye on this year.

From the article:

3. EARTHSENSE

Founders: Chinmay Soman and Girish Chowdhary

Headquarters:  Champaign, Illinois

Web: earthsense.co

Background: EarthSense is developing ultra-compact autonomous robots (TerraSentia) that use machine learning to monitor and manage problems in field, specifically to identify weeds and chemical-free methods of reliably eradicating weeds. During its 2018 Early Adopter Program, the company sold 25 robots.

The 2019 model of TerraSentia weighs 30 pounds, is 11 inches wide and 20 inches in length. It travels autonomously in the field using GPS and other sensors. It collects data using three RGB cameras and other optional sensors, including LiDAR. It will cost $15,000 for an annual lease and will include an RTK GPS unit and two LiDARs.

"EarthSense is solving three key problems in agriculture," says Chinmay Soman. "First, it is helping create the next generation of more productive and sustainable crop varieties by collecting high-value data from crop breeding and trial fields. Second, it is providing under canopy crop scouting information in production fields, which enables growers to manage their fields for better yields and profitability. Lastly, it ultimately solves critical problems like herbicide-resistant weeds with mechanical weeding by the robots in large fields."

Funding: The start-up has raised $50,000 in funding.

Photo from EarthSense