A vision for better farming
In 2011, two Stanford graduate students, Jorge (the former head of precision agriculture at Trimble) and Lee (a PhD student and roboticist), met while taking Steve Blank's Lean LaunchPad course. They converged on a wild ambition: to make farming more sustainable through robotics and computer vision. Together, they built and tested their idea in California's Central Valley - proving the applicability of machine learning, computer vision, and robotics to the field of agriculture. With an idea, support from friends & family, and a grant from the NSF, Blue River Technology was born.
THE FIRST SMART MACHINE
Meet lettuce bot
The first smart machine—the lettuce bot—focused on lettuce thinning, a traditionally time-intensive and expensive task of eliminating unwanted lettuce seedlings, The lettuce bot automated this arduous process by taking images, identifying which plants to remove, spraying them, and verifying the accuracy and performance of the system, all in real time.
THE NEXT GENERATION OF SMART MACHINES
See & Spray technology
See & Spray is the next generation of Blue River's technology. See & Spray machines leverage deep learning to enable our machines to identify a greater variety of plants—both crops & weeds—with better accuracy, and then make crop management decisions on the spot. Custom nozzle designs enable <1-inch spray resolution, and powerful software powers faster and more agile crop protection. See & Spray is currently operating in weeding for cotton and soybeans.
PARTNERING WITH JOHN DEERE
Blue River is acquired as subsidiary
In September 2017, Blue River was acquired by John Deere. While remaining an independently-run subsidiary with entrepreneurial spirit, the partnership gives Blue River access and support from one of the world's leaders in precision agriculture.
EXPANDING INTO THE FUTURE
Continuing to develop exciting new technologies
Crop protection is just the beginning. With the support of John Deere, Blue River is continuing to expand and explore a plethora of innovative new developments to support and empower those linked to the land.
National Science Foundation
This material is based in part upon work supported by the NSF under SBIR Phase I and II grants (1143463 and 1256596). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.