TerraSentia Robot Aims to Gather Crop Data Under the Canopy

AgTech startup EarthSense has developed TerraSentia, an ultra-compact, autonomous, easy-to-use robot with multiple sensors and embedded data collection and analytics software for plant phenotyping. The company is based in Illinois, and they are working with the seed industry and crop R&D partners to test and further develop TerraSentia. 

The company started in April 2016, and started building its robot prototypes in February 2017. Currently the company has a pilot program with an early order deadline of November 30.

“We want to work with each customer so that this isn’t just a robot for them,” says co-founder Chinmay Soman. “In the early order program, we are only charging $5,000, which is an intentionally aggressive price so we can learn a lot in this coming year.”

Since its founding the company has interviewed more than 200 growers, agronomist, seed companies and retailers to research the solution TerraSentia can provide.

The robot’s capabilities currently focus on phenotyping crops.

“With TerraSentia we can do very accurate stand counts. We can use LIDAR for accurate measurements,” Soman explains. “Because our robot can travel under the crop canopy, we want to provide a variety of standard agronomic information and measurements.”

The robot is only 13” wide and weighs less than 15 lb.

EarthSense has just entered AgLaunch365, which provides startups with the tools needed to integrate with farmers to create and implement sophisticated field trial protocols and prepare for funding by aligned capital sources. Learn more here.


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