News and Success Stories

Published 23 September 2021

Fighting fungus with BlackBird AI

Gone are the days of staring down a microscope cell-by-cell to quantify sporulation, with the development of BlackBird. Robot BlackBird does much of the hard work accurately measuring the severity of infection with microscopic imaging. This helps researchers automate some of the most tedious and labour-heavy parts of the grape breeding process. 

BlackBird is used in research on powdery mildew; a common fungal disease that costs California $239m per year to manage.

Could we identify disease-resistant grapevines using AI that’s similar to facial recognition software? What else could the technology identify?