Solar Bots for Soil Regen

Jan 21, 2022

Aigen’s carbon-keeping, weed-whacking robots just got an extra dose of fuel—and we’re not talking extra fun in the sun.

After a $4M seed round, the company’s solar-powered, autonomous robots are on the fast track to help farmers manage weeds and plant propagation down to the individual plant level.

The roundup of robotics: Aigen wants to help farmers save their soil health and wreak havoc on weeds with a low-cost crop protection solution. They call their mission “soil regeneration at the planetary scale,” or automated terraforming.

(We looked it up; terraform means “to transform a planet to be earth-like and support human life.” Save that one for big-word bingo). 

Inside the robot: The computers inside the solar-powered bots can tell weeds from desired plants, then act accordingly. They can cover up to three acres of farmland a day. With sensor, camera, and software-based trained systems, the robots cut out fuel, chemicals, and compaction.

The company says their fundamental change to agriculture puts carbon neutrality within reach—a robot’s reach, that is.

Soundbite: “Aigen’s technology leverages best-in-class AI and robotics to provide an elegant solution to several of humanity’s biggest problems,” said Andrew Schoen, partner at seed-round-leading NEA.

Other contributors to the seed round were AgFunder, Global Founders Capital, and ReGen Ventures. Aigen plans to bulk up its talent pool with the shiny new seed money, just in time to fill up the company’s new Kirkland, Washington headquarters.