robotic tractor with hyperspectral cameras Credit: Kyle Johnsen.
Members of the research team prepare to test multispectral, hyperspectral and thermal cameras that will record data on plant characteristics last summer at the Iron Horse Plant Sciences Farm near Athens. The tractor used for preliminary testing will be replaced by all-terrain robots and unmanned aerial vehicles during the growing season this spring and summer.

Robots, drones help accelerate plant genetic research

High-tech tools may soon play a major role in studying crop growth patterns, stress tolerance and general health.

It may be a while before robots and drones are as common as tractors and combine harvesters on farms, but the high-tech tools may soon play a major role in helping feed the world’s rapidly growing population.

At the University of Georgia, a team of researchers is developing a robotic system of all-terrain rovers and unmanned aerial drones that can more quickly and accurately gather and analyze data on the physical characteristics of crops, including their growth patterns, stress

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