Opinions differ on the use of pesticides because of their potential impact on food. Arguments in favour of protecting the food supply are balanced against justifications for plant protection products to be dispensed with altogether. The trend in society is clear: acceptance for the use of chemicals is falling. Gamer high-tech, artificial intelligence and mobile telecommunications can massively reduce the quantities used. This is not wishful thinking; it's the mission of the Ecorobotix start-up from Yverdon.
Ecorobotix specialises in agricultural machinery, which it equips with advanced technology. One of the founders, Steve Tanner, explains it has been a long journey to get to this point: “When we first had the idea for an autonomous device, the market was not yet mature enough.” The start-up began with an autonomous vehicle, which moved around the field driven by solar power. As a concept, it had a lot going for it: reduced soil compaction and clean solar energy, as well as fully autonomous functioning. Founded in 2014, the start-up has won numerous awards for its applications since 2015, including the Swisscom Startup Challenge in 2017.