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GoMicro is an AgTech phone microscope company driven by artificial intelligence (AI) to provide accurate, affordable and instant diagnostics for agricultural pests and diseases.
It is currently time-consuming and costly for farmers to identify pests and plant diseases accurately through the conventional method of laboratory testing. Globalisation and increases in international trade and travel have caused a rapid increase in new pests and leaf disease in Australia.
Some pests and plant diseases are easily identifiable by experienced farmers, but there are still many that require more in-depth analysis and cannot be identified by the naked eye. Two recent examples of introduced pests include the Russian Wheat Aphid which can devastate wheat and barley plants resulting in heavy crop losses as well as Marmorated Stink Bug which looks very similar to other native and harmless bug species.
At present, a common problem with many AI implementations is that effectiveness often reduces outside of laboratory conditions.
Recently, the capabilities of AI-based imagery applications have improved rapidly. GoMicro is building a practical application of AI in agriculture with the aim to help farms minimise crop losses from pests and diseases.
To make this technology readily accessible to farmers, we are developing an integrated solution; a clip-on phone microscope and AI identification platform. This will allow farmers to quickly diagnose a wide range of insects and plant diseases through exceptional magnification and accuracy.
Additionally, farmers can use GoMicro to capture high-quality images and share them with agronomists who can provide further advice, accelerating the response time and reducing potential crop destruction.
Our approach ensures optimal imaging conditions for AI training and deployment, drastically improving the accuracy. This enables GoMicro to harness powerful AI technology and mitigate issues faced in other applications to provide an instantly useful product.
We are focused on generating revenue through the direct sale of clip-on microscopes to farmers (B2C) with access to a range of apps. We also aim to generate additional revenue through application sales to agricultural companies that want to provide eradication services or alternatively, the direct sale of insecticides, herbicides and other related products to farmers.
This service should allow us to rapidly expand our addressable market. In future, we aim to integrate services with existing farm management apps.
A generic version of GoMicro is also available for sale via Amazon Australia which we will promote via social media marketing to generate additional revenue. This version currently sells for $30.
GoMicro is focused on developing a point of difference in outstanding detection accuracy in the agricultural space.
We use AI technology developed by Google for detection. This self-learning technology trains itself with images. The more data that is given during training, the more accurate the result. GoMicro’s microscopes acquire cleaner data, therefore fewer images are required to train the AI engine than other methods.
AI solutions often have issues detecting objects in varied light. One study found an accuracy drop in testing from approximately 99% to 31% when using AI on images taken in the field rather than in a lab 5.
GoMicro aims to overcome these issues through the pairing of both a microscope and AI engine with novel imaging technology. Our solution is unique in providing farmers with a solution they can use themselves.
Following the initial planned commercialisation in the agricultural space, our technology may be applicable to a wide range of issues in other sectors. This is in contrast to AI companies that only focus on narrow verticals. This provides us with a first mover advantage as well as a unique position in both the phone microscopy and AI market.
GoMicro have sold over 1500 microscopes in the last 15 months with the majority of customers based in the agricultural sector.
Feedback from customers has been widely positive:
Kym Perry from the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) quoted:
“GoMicro is a fantastic new tool for farmers and agronomists to assist with identifying pests and beneficial insects in field crops”, and another customer quoted: “I don’t know how good your eyes are but I was sick of not being able to identify small insects in the paddock. But that’s all changed thanks to GoMicro”.
We are currently in the process of filling for a Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) patent for our microscopes and we have begun offering test kits to a wide range of organisations and early adopters.
GoMicro started out as an educational technology venture founded by Dr. Sivam Krish and Jarrad Law. After discovering a strong interest in microscopes from the agricultural sector in 2018, we started working on an AI engine with a custom-built microscope. Since then, we have been developing our AI-powered field microscopy platform.
GoMicro’s first AI engine is targeted to identifying Queensland Fruit Flies, for which we have achieved an accuracy exceeding 90% in an initial test for identifying male vs female flies, and over 90% accuracy for fruit flies vs other flies using a small test sample of fewer than 50 insects in each category.
GoMicro aims to be the platform of choice for a wide range of microscopic analysis. Our objective is to have an active user base which will form GoMicro’s engine of growth.
Firstly, we aim to generate early adopters through a wide range of niche identification problems. We have begun offering test kits to these early users alongside a wide range of organisations who wish to Beta test our AI microscope and application.
Next, we intend to work closely with pesticide & fertiliser companies, agronomist associations, research associations, farmers and growers associations to solve current and future identification problems. During this time, we aim to sell microscopes through agricultural retailers. We also plan to approach agricultural associations to promote the product through their networks, establishing relevant promotional pricing and develop AI apps that are relevant to their specific crops.
To develop digital acquisition, we intend to generate substantial imagery from our microscopes, acting as a content creation device and encouraging users to share their content on social media channels.
We currently have major agricultural companies and a research institution ready to do field trials using GoMicro.
GoMicro’s vision is for the company to undergo a trade sale in the next 3-5 years, targeting major players in the agricultural sector. We are also building relationships with several venture capital firms for future funding rounds.
Sivam is an engineer and innovator. Sivam holds a PhD from Cambridge University in Engineering and BEng from MIT. He has been a leader in emerging technologies for over 20 years, and was a pioneer in 3-D printing and artificial intelligence. Sivam leads the engineering, product development and R&D.
Jarrad is a software engineer with a passion for mobile applications. He holds a BEng and BSc (CS) from Flinders University. He worked as a software and web developer for over 10 years prior to co-founding GoMicro. Jarrad leads the software development function of GoMicro.
Rob has held 51 board positions over a 43 year career. His experience spans across government and private sector research and development, governance, IP management and commercialisation of research. He was formally the Executive Director for the South Australian Research and Development Institute.
Darren is the Marketing Director of Hydra Consulting and has extensive experience in agricultural consulting and entrepreneurship education. He holds a PhD from James Cook University. He specialises in growing businesses and implementing research combining his unique skills in stratergy & marketing.
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