Alphabet X Launches Mineral, its First Robotic AgTech Company

Two years after its public debut, Mineral has become an Alphabet company. Previously known as the “Computational Agriculture Project,” the team recently graduated from X ‘moonshot’ labs.

Elliott Grant, CEO of Mineral (now an Alphabet company), announced in a blog post that after five years incubating their tech at X, Alphabet’s moonshot factory, they are ready to pursue their mission: scaling sustainable agriculture with a platform and tools that can gather, organize and make actionable new information about the plant world.

After years of attempting to build a robotics division through acquisition, Alphabet is now organically growing Mineral from X to an Alphabet subsidiary.

Mineral’s robots generate datasets and research crops, a process developed over five years of (largely confidential) operations. Evidence suggests companies are gathering enough data to exploit machine learning effectively.

Grant states that no one data collection method is suitable for all agricultural tasks and crops, so they developed a plant rover to capture large amounts of high-resolution images. This was then expanded to create general perception technology for multiple platforms, including robots, farm equipment, drones, sentinels and mobile phones.

The company aims to generate detailed, comprehensive datasets that farmers worldwide can use to uncover new growth factors. This could help cultivate crops better able to withstand climate change while avoiding exacerbating the crisis.

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Max Chen

Max Chen is an AI expert and journalist with a focus on the ethical and societal implications of emerging technologies. He has a background in computer science and is known for his clear and concise writing on complex technical topics. He has also written extensively on the potential risks and benefits of AI, and is a frequent speaker on the subject at industry conferences and events.

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