The internet is a wonderful thing. It gives us the power to do things that would have taken us a lifetime to master. Everyday we come across new applications that we were unaware of or are reminded of again. One such application is the ability to recognise a plant from its picture. I first came across this a few years ago when trying to find out what an unknown plant was in the garden. I took a photo and posted it on Twitter not expecting much, only to get an almost instant response with its name.
According to an article in the Telegraph there are half a dozen or so such apps available now. There are probably more.
This is the gardening season. The Chelsea Flower Show is just over and all of us, or at least many of us are inspired to work on our own little paradise. I am no gardener however. I like to look at the flowers and quite like some aspects of gardening yet, like most people, detest wedding.
Hold on a moment though. If there are apps to recognise plants then these apps must also be able to recognise weeds. Couple this information to a machine, similar to an automated vacuum cleaner only with a cutter and digger and you could have an automated weeder. It may need to be on legs rather than wheels to get into those more difficult beds.
It could be programmable to allow the user to define the kind of garden that they are looking for, by selecting which plants they want to get rid of and those they wish to encourage. When it comes across a plant for the first time it could search the internet and compare the information to its database for permitted or banned blooms. It could learn as it goes along. Future versions may allow for chemical analysis for very young shoots or enable it to deadhead flowers that have gone over.
Now there is an idea. Automated weeders are already available for farming but they are large scale and work upon location recognition rather than species.
Please let me know once it has been developed, I’ll buy one and my gardening pleasure will be increased multi-fold times.