SANTA CLARA — A farm robotics company whose technologies could revolutionize farming and food production has bought a big Santa Clara office building that it had previously subleased.
Blue River Technology, which is a unit of manufacturing and agricultural equipment titan Deere & Co., has bought an office building at 3303 Scott Blvd. in Santa Clara, documents filed on Oct. 28 with the Santa Clara County Recorder’s Office show.
The robotics company paid $85 million for the office building in Santa Clara, according to the county records.
Toeniskoetter Development, via an affiliate, sold the building to Blue River, the public documents show. The Toeniskoetter firm developed the building in 2015.
Blue River Technology bought the building through an all-cash deal. Blue River at present occupies a Sunnyvale building that totals 55,000 square feet. It wasn’t immediately clear whether the sublease transaction or the property purchase would result in Blue River’s exit from its Sunnyvale office.
In 2011, Stanford graduate students Jorge Heraud and Lee Redden founded Blue River Technology.
In 2017, Deere & Co. bought Blue River in a $305 million acquisition. The deal has enabled Deere & Co. to deploy Blue River’s robotics and artificial intelligence into a widening array of equipment and machinery that Deere supplies.
Blue River’s technologies enable farmers to use Deere’s ultra-modern equipment to zero in on specific weeds to spray and kill off.
This high-tech approach has been crafted to replace conventional techniques of mass spraying of weeds in fields.
In March 2022, Deere & Co. introduced a product called “See & Spray” that has grafted Blue River’s artificial intelligence and robotics onto Deere agricultural spraying equipment.
“See & Spray Ultimate can reduce non-residual herbicide use by more than two-thirds by only spraying weeds in corn, soybeans, and cotton,” Deere stated in a prepared release in March.
Computerized cameras and processors powered by Blue River’s technologies are mounted on Deere & Co.’s herbicide vehicle to zero in on what needs to be sprayed and killed.
“The combined power of computer vision and machine learning” can be used to distinguish weeds from crop plants, according to Deere & Co.
Blue River has amassed a huge number of images to bolster its artificial intelligence and robotics technologies.
“Through 500-plus years of collecting millions of images of plants and weeds across hundreds of thousands of acres, See & Spray is capable of detecting a variety of crops and weeds to provide weed control,” Blue River states in a post on its website.