A wide range of initiatives have been launched in recent years to transform robot and drone technologies into fully-fledged players in the transition to a more environmentally-friendly, sustainable energy-based world. These include a weed-killing robot that avoids pesticides, new AI-driven platforms for waste-sorting, and robots and drones that improve air and water quality.
Some pioneers today are taking a far more optimistic approach to deploying robots and drones, programming them for environmental protection duties with the intention of preventing the catastrophic Wall-E scenario from becoming reality.
The field where the most concrete action is currently taking place is agriculture. A broad range of startups began two or three years ago to develop autonomous vehicles capable of either limiting or completely eradicating the use of herbicides. These solutions have come just at the right time as the farming world is now seriously seeking alternatives to using glyphosate.
- Autonomous weeding machines now flourishing
- AI enabling ultra-precise spraying
Artificial Intelligence and robotics are also making significant inroads into industrial waste sorting as well to avoid air and water pollution.
High-tech recycling centres are starting to install new-generation automated sorting stations equipped with object recognition technologies capable of identifying and sorting garbage efficiently.
- Cleaning, maintenance and inspection: Robots and drones are making a contribution to the well-being of the planet in the field of maintenance and inspection of renewable energy production sites.
- Drones helping to avoid pollution in areas such as water purification and air cleaning. Eg. Analysing the air quality in hospitals, shopping malls, museums, etc, and then purifying it.
- Metal sharks cleaning up the oceans: marine drones that can be deployed to clean up expanses of water