The very first solar cells (photovoltaic energy) was introduced in 1876 and the technology has evolved so much since then. The 1970s and 90s saw quite a big change in the way solar cells were used and by the dawn of the 21st century, the idea of installing solar PVs in homes had become more widespread mainly because solar cells became much more affordable. During the 1950s, a 1 watt solar cell cost $300 but today, the installed cost is approximately $4.72/watt. Imagine that.
Today, not only do we see these solar energy systems installed on rooftops and buildings but we also see a lot of advancements in the renewable energy technologies.
The idea of storing solar energy for future use has stirred the interest of many. Advances in such technology will no doubt increase the demand for solar energy. In addition to these wonderful developments, modern inventions have also taken to solar energy.
Solar Powered Farmbot Prototype Unveiled
In fact, the first ever solar powered farmbot was recently unveiled in Australia. This invention was named Ladybird. It’s a robot that was designed for self-driving and makes use of hyperspectral cameras and sensors to collect information about the conditions of the crops and pests in a particular agricultural area.
The solar powered farmbot Ladybird just completed its 3-day test in one farm in Australia, and impressively at that. Designed by Sydney professor Salah Sukkarieh from the University of Sydney specialising in robotics and intelligent systems, Ladybird is a solar powered farmbot and even has the capability of removing weeds and harvest crops using a robotic arm.
The significance of such an invention is pretty obvious. When you have a robot that can detect potential problems in your farm, you lower the risk of a bad harvest considerably. Ladybird can detect nutrient deficiency even if no symptoms are evident to the human eye. In addition, with the solar powered farmbot Ladybird, there is no need to spend time and effort inspecting your crops. The robot can do it for you.
Falling Costs of Solar Technology
The good news is that with such a technology available to farmers, you get a helping hand, so to speak, to inform you about the condition of your crops. It saves you time and effort, and also allows you to take action before it’s already too late. On the other hand, while it is quite promising, the technology is also rather expensive and very few can afford a solar powered robot like Ladybird. For now, anyway.
For farm owners, a solar powered farmbot may be out of the question now due to the costs, but with new advancements being created every day, these modern creations might become more affordable in the coming years. The future of solar energy is bright and limitless. There are so many inventions that can be made powered by solar energy, and we can expect to see robots like Ladybirds that will make our jobs and businesses easier and more effective. And when you consider the fact that solar energy is essentially “free and renewable” there’s no telling what science will bring 10-20 years from now.