Originally Posted By: paul
well if the robots are the ones planting the seeds , then
they know where the plants will grow (data storage).

Except that not all seeds germinate, seeds move within the soil, animals will move the seeds, not all plants grow in straight lines, and a weed can occupy the space "assigned" to a planet by out competing it - that's what makes them weeds after all.

May work for hydroponic operations; doesn't stand a snowballs chance in hell in a field.

Originally Posted By: paul
so all you need is a color identifier.

a simple color number program can do that in a few lines of code.
load the image , scan the image with code allow a few hundred shades of green , compare
the value of each pixel , note the depth in the image by the base of the color (the weed color), plot its location , snap a seperate image from a different angle repeat the above , now you have the weeds location.

Except for a few not-so-minor issues:
1) Many weed "species" are the wild variants or closely related wild species to the crops under production. This is why they are weeds - they closely resemble the crops under cultivation, and thus grow well under the conditions farmers create. Ergo, weeds often look pretty much the same as the crop. This is a major issue in canola and wheat farming, and is also a driving factor behind producing herbicide resistant crops.

2)Even in the same species of plants, the colour can vary greatly depending on a range of factors - differing intensity of sunlight can alter the production of protective pigments, some pigments are hydration and/or pH sensitive, disease often bleach colour, colour often changes at different stages of plant development, and all that's on top of good 'ol phenotypic variation.

3) The range of colours available to plants are limited - all land plants have the same fundamental 5 pigments, and their "specific" colour is merely due to the balance of those pigments. As a result, the number of unique colours is quite limited.

Together, those little details make colour-based identification far more difficult than you think. The chance of a crop having a colour - even a spectra - unique enough to separate it from weeds is pretty much zero. Both the limited colour options, combined with the colour variation in single species, precludes this type of detection in most cases.

To actually ID weeds you need to analyze morphology: the shape, size and spacing of leafs, the vascular patterns on those leafs, the branching patterns of the stem, etc (this is how plants are ID'd in the real world). And your algorithm needs to be robust enough to deal with damaged plants, stunted plants, wilting plants, and weed species closely related to your crop.

Its a tall order, far more complex then you seem to realize.

Originally Posted By: paul
it just gets simpler , believe me.

Hmm, I'll raise your supposition with a childhood spent farming and an adulthood spent developing computer routines to analyze morphological features.

That's a poker analogy, BTW. What I'm trying to say is this task is far more complex than you seem to realize - plants are not nicely colour coded for your convenience, nor do they play nice by always being clearly different from each other. I've got a lot of experience in using computers to ID objects based on morphological features, and if were as easy as you seem to think, I'd have been unemployed years ago...

Originally Posted By: paul
I could even see how you could have bean picking robots.
corn picking robots , it would bossom into a gigantic robotics industry.

Get on it then - if its so simple it should be no problem for you to develop said systems.

That said, the technology to pick beans, corn, etc, is already largely automated. All you really need to do for that is put a tractor with the appropriate harvesting equipment under GPS control. And do it at a price cheaper than having your kid drive the tractor...

Now an automated tomato, or pepper picker; that would be a thing of beauty...

Originally Posted By: paul
its a good thing there wernt so many nay sayers around when everything was getting invented , or we would still
be rubbing sticks together to make fire to cook what we just killed , because there is no refrigerators or ovens
or lights , or anything for that matter.

try optimism.

I prefer reality, thanx. As someone whose made a career as a scientist (and I've invented a couple of microfluidic devices - maybe that qualifies me as an inventor as well?) I've learned that the quickest way to success is to ID the weak points in your idea, and attack them head-on. The granting agencies have forced me to also appreciate the cost-benefit side of planning...including knowing when an idea isn't financially tractable.

Your route leads to a lot of failures and disappointment. My route gets the job done - if, indeed, the job needs to be done.