UP-Min prof develops AI tech to help farmers

Ian Carl Espinosa


A PROFESSOR from the University of the Philippines in Mindanao has developed a technology using artificial intelligence (AI) to maintain banana plantation and help detect diseases that could affect them.

Dr. Jose Ildefonso Rubrico, UPMin professor and Autonomous Societally Inspired Mission Oriented Vehicles (Asimov) program leader said in a press conference that they are currently developing AI-powered vehicles for maintaining banana plantations.

Rubrico said these types of vehicles are ”first of its kind in the Philippines”.

“Usually kasi, [kapag] mag-dedeploy ka ng mga manual [labor] (Usually if we deploy manual labor), it will take at least two weeks to get the whole 100 hectares [of maintaining the banana plantations],” Rubrico added.

Currently, UPMin developed one aerial drone called unmanned automated vehicles (UAVs) and a land vehicle called Robot for Optimized and Autonomous Mission Enhancement Response (ROAMER) for the Asimov program. UPMin plans to add one more for each vehicle variety as soon as they can.

Rubrico said AI-powered vehicles will be a big help to farmers especially if they will be deployed to use pesticides and survey plantations, keeping humans away from dangerous chemicals.

He added that these vehicles can also record more accurate data which can be helpful to farmers and stakeholders alike for easier management and control of the yield.

“Importante din kasi siya sa (These are important for our) stakeholders so that [through this technological advancement] they have a quick idea how much yield will be,” Rubrico said.

“If you use, let’s say aerial vehicles that can be tapped down very quickly, then you will get an accurate picture much much quicker and you can make decisions based on the current data,” he added.

The AI-powered vehicles were presented during the 1st Artificial Intelligence Pinas R&D Conference and Workshop 2023, dated March 14 to 15. The vehicle is also being developed to be used for search and rescue, updating maps, and traffic monitoring.

These vehicles are funded by the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD). ICE

Source: https://www.sunstar.com.ph/article/1956080/davao/local-news/up-min-prof-develops-ai-tech-to-help-farmers