FarmWise, San Francisco, partnered with Roush Performance, Plymouth, Mich., to build prototypes of autonomous weeders, which will ultimately replace herbicides and save growers on labor.

By using high-precision weeding, the robotic farm hands can increase the yield of the crops by working day and night to remove unwanted plants and weeds.

“Michigan is well-known throughout the world for its manufacturing and automotive industries, the advanced technology expertise and state-of-the-art manufacturing practices,” says Thomas Palomares, co-founder and CTO of FarmWise. “These are many of the key ingredients we need to manufacture and test our machines. We were connected to Roush through support from PlanetM, and as a technology startup, joining forces with a large and well-respected legacy automaker is critical to support the scale of our manufacturing plan.”

“This collaboration showcases the opportunities that result from connecting startups like FarmWise with Michigan-based companies like Roush that bring their manufacturing know-how to making these concepts a reality,” says Trevor Pawl, group vice president of PlanetM, Pure Michigan Business Connect and International Trade at the Michigan Economic Development Corp. “We are excited to see this collaboration come to fruition. It is a great example of how Michigan can bring together emerging companies globally seeking prototype and production support with our qualified manufacturing base in the state.”