MATHS, for me, never added up.

I remember my poor, exasperated father almost tearing his hair out as I sobbed over my algebra homework, his repeated attempts at explanation having failed to pierce the fog in my adolescent brain.

When it comes to anything remotely complicated like working out questions of probability, there’s one thing I do know for certain – I’m the last person you should ask.

Maybe that’s why my one attempt at betting on the future by buying a few shares was a bit of a disaster.

With an ageing population, I reasoned, what could be a better prospect than a company aimed squarely at the elderly? Well, if you know the answer to that one, do please let me know. And the people running Saga.

So I’m not in any way qualified to suggest what anyone else should do with their money. But I thought I’d tell you what I’ve decided to do with what’s left of my unimpressive investment.

Because it’s helping to crowdfund a local enterprise that’s doing a very worthwhile thing, that might just turn out to be a global game-changer.

Its products remind me of the brightly-coloured Meccano toys my younger brother used to put together all those years ago.

They’re a little family of robots.

One’s named Tom. One’s named Dick. I think you can work out the third one’s name without my help.

They may well be the future of sustainable arable farming. Or at least, an important step along the way to making it a lot greener and more efficient. And they were created right here in south Wiltshire, in West Dean.

The Small Robot Company is a start-up that began with the recognition that traditional tractors are neither energy-efficient nor environmentally friendly, and that ploughing does nothing for soil quality and increases the need for artificial fertilisers.

Small robots, on the other hand, can deliver individual care affordably to each plant without the need for wholesale crop spraying, and that has huge benefits for wildlife, too.

Here’s how it works.

Tom ‘digitises’ and monitors the crop on a plant by plant basis, while Dick and Harry will do the seeding, feeding and weeding. They are so precise that each single weed can be targeted, and zapped electrically.

Forward-thinking big players like Waitrose and the National Trust are already on board with the idea.

And for smaller-scale farmers, another bonus is that they won’t have to fork out squillions on expensive machinery. These little fellas will be available on a subscription service.

Now my knowledge of farming is only marginally greater than my (non-existent) grasp of Pythagoras’s theorem, but the logic behind all this makes sense to me when you think of the need to feed the growing global population without ruining the planet in the process.

And isn’t it great to see technological innovation like this emanating from our little corner of the world?