Aigen is on a mission to terraform the earth and make agriculture carbon negative.
The company is building solar-powered, autonomous robots that can zoom around in fields, using computer vision to tell friends from foe and plants from a weed. The robot covers up to three acres of farmland per day.
"My relatives are farmers in Minnesota, and I've been talking with them for quite some time. They're really experiencing some trouble with traditional agriculture approaches. Even the diehard people that love chemicals, that love tilling the earth and other practices that have been releasing carbon in the atmosphere for thousands of years are starting to realize, hey, maybe we should be open to other ways to do this," reflects Richard Wurden, CEO at Aigen.
He's incredibly passionate about throwing agriculture's carbon output in reverse.
"Right now, agriculture is about 16% of carbon emissions. In the future, it has the potential to go negative, by reducing diesel emissions, soil compaction, chemical usage and reducing tilling.”
The premise the startup makes is that overall, photosynthesis is carbon negative because Plants take CO2 from thin air and turn that into sugars, or better known as carbohydrates. In effect, the plants are taking carbon out of the air and sticking it back into the earth. Aigen believes that by changing technology and the ways agriculture is done, carbon neutrality, or even negativity, is within reach.