• About us


    A vision for better farming

    In 2011, two Stanford graduate students, Jorge (the former head of precision agriculture at Trimble) and Lee (a PhD student and roboticist), met while taking Steve Blank's Lean LaunchPad course. They converged on a wild ambition: to make farming more sustainable through robotics and computer vision. Together, they built and tested their idea in the Central Valley - proving the applicability of machine learning, computer vision, and robotics to the field of agriculture. With an idea, support from friends & family, and a grant from the NSF, Blue River Technology was born.


    The first smart machine

    The first smart machine - the lettuce bot - focused on lettuce thinning, a traditionally time-intensive and expensive task, The lettuce bot automates this arduous process. This first smart machine takes images, identifies which plants to remove, sprays them, and verifies the accuracy and performance of the system.


    The next generation technology

    See & Spray is the next generation of Blue River's technology. Our next generation See & Spray machines leverage deep learning to enable our machines to identify a greater variety of plants & weeds with better accuracy, custom nozzle designs to enable 1-inch spray resolution, and improved software for faster and more agile crop protection.

    Drone-based remote sensing

    Evaluate plant-by-plant results of See & Spray

    Blue River is also developing an unmanned aerial system that can survey a field of crops and sense for various plant and environmental characteristics. Through using a drone, this technology can enable our See & Spray technology to be more accurate - measuring and learning every step of the way.


    Plant-by-plant knowledge

    Our Blue River machines are constantly collecting plant-specific information. Whether it's size, shape, spacing, or otherwise, we believe that we can help characterize each plant - helping farmers better understand the variables on their farm. The data and insights generated by Blue River are designed to support our vision to make every plant count.

  • Awards

    CB Insights

    The "AI 100" is a group of emerging private companies working on ground breaking artificial intelligence technology. Blue River Technology was selected from over 1,600 entries for our team and technology that is successfully using AI to solve big challenges.


    American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE)

    Blue River Tech's LettuceBot was recognized as among the most innovative designs in engineering products for agriculture.

    Cleantech group

    The Global Cleantech 100 represents the most innovative and promising ideas impacting the future of a wide-range of industries. Featuring companies that are best positioned to solve tomorrow’s clean technology challenges, the Global Cleantech 100 is a comprehensive list of private companies with the highest potential to make significant market impact within a 5-10 year timeframe. Blue River Tech was selected from a record number of 9,900 distinct companies from 77 countries.

    Fast company

    The Fast Company reporting team sifts through thousands of enterprises each year, searching for those that tap both heartstrings and purse strings and use the engine of commerce to make a difference in the world. Impact is among our key criteria. Blue River Technology was selected as among the most innovative companies in the field of robotics.


    AgFunder's inaugural Innovation awards recognize the agtech startups that are driving the industry forward and are the most innovative. Blue River was selected for the potential our technology has to revolutionize the food industry and provide investors with financial returns.


    CB Insights

    "Peter Thiel of Founders Fund famously commented about a perceived lack of real innovation in VC investing and startups with the following quip:

    'We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters.'

    We'd humbly disagree with Thiel's assertion."

    Blue River Technology is recognized as a game changing startup applying Computer Vision to improve the world.

    World Economic Forum

    The World Economic Forum selected Blue River Technology as a Tech Pioneer based on our innovation, potential impact, and leadership.

    Sxsw Eco

    Winner of the 2013 SXSW Eco startup showcase event in the Greentech category. Blue River Technology was recognized for the potential impact of our innovation by a panel of technology investors. Check out our winning pitch here.

    Small Business Innovation Research

    National Science foundation (nsf) grant

    Blue River Technology is proud to receive the support and funding of the US National Science Foundation through the SBIR program. We have been awarded Phase 1, 2 and 2B grants for research in the application of computer vision to agriculture.

    Department of Energy

    Through the TERRA program, Blue River Technology is exploring the application of drone-based imaging sensors to characterize plant traits that assist in breeding.

  • Our investors

    khosla ventures

    Data Collective Venture Capital

    Innovation Endeavors

    Pontifax AgTech

  • In the news

    AgWeb Farm Journal, Apr 2017

    "What if an army of herbicide snipers in a sprayer shot weeds, but never hit crops? The technology concept enabling facial recognition on Facebook is ready for plant recognition in order to spray weeds on a dime, all in one real-time pass. Simply, the tractor never stops rolling."

    PCMag, Mar 2017

    "The Jetson TX2 is the latest all-in-one computing module for processing artificial intelligence in the field instead of the cloud. Companies are using it to improve video conferencing quality and even help thin fields of lettuce."

    CB Insights, Nov 2016

    "Peter Thiel of Founders Fund famously commented about a perceived lack of real innovation in VC investing and startups with the following quip:


    'We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters.'


    We'd humbly disagree with Thiel's assertion."


    Blue River Technology is recognized as a game changing startup applying Computer Vision to improve the world.

    Wired, May 2016

    "While the developing world is hungry for agricultural knowledge, the developed world is drowning in pesticides and herbicides. In the US each year, farmers use 310 million pounds of herbicide—on just corn, soy, and cotton fields. It’s the spray-and-pray approach, not so much sniping as carpet bombing.


    A company called Blue River Technology may have hit upon solution, at least as far as lettuce is concerned. Its LettuceBot looks like your typical tractor, but in fact it’s a machine-learning-powered … machine."

    World Economic Forum, August 2015

    "Our current methods of agriculture are not sustainable – our tools are becoming less effective, we’re damaging the ecosystems we rely on for food and we’re putting human health at risk. 


    Robots are the answer. [Blue River's] smart machines are able to sense each individual plant, instantly determine everything about its health, structure and needs, and precisely apply the right amount of care..."

    NPR, August 2014

    "... Technology is the future. For one thing, he says the ongoing labor shortage means there are not enough people to do this kind of work.  So Tanimura & Antle is trying out automated lettuce thinning machines in some of its fields.


    And one, developed by a Silicon Valley start-up Blue River Technology, seems to be the most promising.  It’s called a LettuceBot, and it makes the decisions about which plants will go and which will stay..."

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  • National Science Foundation

    This material is based in part upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under SBIR Phase I and II grants (1143463 and 1256596). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.