Powdery mildew is a common fungal disease in plants that usually requires a special fungal agent to be treated, but science has now found that using uv-light robots may be a better way to do so. There are several problems with the use of white powder fungal agents, including high prices, environmental insatie, and time-consuming application. What’s more, the white powder fungus is constantly resistant, so new versions must be constantly formulated.
Like other organisms, the white powder fungus is also vulnerable to DNA damage when exposed to ultraviolet light. But the white powder fungus has a defense mechanism, and because of the blue light present in the sun’s light, direct shooting is not affected by ultraviolet rays.
To this end, a team of scientists has created a wheeled robot, Thorvald, that can automatically move along rows of vines in the vineyard after the sun goes down every day. During movement, Thorvald irradiates the grape leaves with ultraviolet light, because without blue light, the fungal’s defense son will not be triggered.
In this way, the fungus of white powder disease can be effectively eliminated. The intensity of ultraviolet light is relatively low, and the plant itself is not harmed. The technology has also been shown to be effective in preventing frost mold (another fungal disease) and certain types of harmful insects. The robots are expected to go into commercial production later this year.
The team included scientists from Cornell University, the University of Florida, the Renssler Institute of Technology in New York and the Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomics. Norway’s SAGA Robotics has designed and built these robots.