FOTENIX is speeding up the diagnosis of disease in-field. The company aims to make sophisticated imaging technology accessible for small-scale farmers and has grown its offering since it was featured in the REAP 2019 Start-up Showcase.
FOTENIX aims to provide affordable crop diagnostics in real-time. It has miniaturised its lab-quality technology so it can be used in the field. Spectral image data is captured using a standard camera and LED flash and is transmitted for analysis in the cloud. The results are delivered to producers’ smartphones.
The compact device can be integrated into farm equipment and the company is working with two robotics companies on further integration.
The technology can also be used to facilitate breeding and the company has recently developed DELTA, a desktop system that can detect cues from dynamic plant responses. Using multispectral imaging, it can significantly improve identification of the traits under study.
Co-founder Charles Veys says: “We have grown the team and made major releases of our product LIMA, which is a crop scout used for detecting disease in soft fruit and wheat, and DELTA, a desktop system for use by breeders.
“Our focus is on reducing cost to the producer and adding value to the rest of the supply chain. We are developing LIMA for soft fruit in collaboration with the Lincoln Institute for Agri-Food Technology, Saga Robotics and Berry Gardens, and for wheat in partnership with Small Robot Company and CHAP – two very exciting developments.”
FOTENIX’s spectral imaging offers the ability to detect crop diseases, including those with no visual symptoms such as Light Leaf Spot. It provides improved prediction of yields – even under difficult conditions such as counting white fruit flowers amidst white tabletop guttering.
Charles continues: “Essentially, we’re detecting disease so producers know exactly where and when to spray. When the device is being used, it translates the raw information and creates an image so producers can choose to bring forward their application schedule and reduce crop losses.
“We intend to offer FOTENIX’s imaging-advice-action as a fully automated process so we’re currently working with robotics companies to achieve this.
“It could deliver immediate operational savings – as well as help continue the work of environmental stewardship, which is becoming increasingly important to the future of farming.”
REAP 2021: Changing Time(s) for Agriculture – 10th November 2021
Imagine a world where agriculture is not constrained by time. The ability to manage and manipulate time is increasing and REAP 2021 will explore the advances in technology and breakthroughs in science that is making this possible.
REAP brings together people from across the agri-tech ecosystem who believe that innovation is the engine for change. The conference bridges the gap between producer needs and technology solutions and showcases exciting agri-tech start-ups.