Small, light robotics to take over big tractors as future for farm machinery

Gerald Piddock for NZ Farmer:  Farmers' love affair with big tractors could be over if they are to meet tighter environmental goals while maintaining production targets.

Instead, larger farming machinery will be replaced by more efficient systems relying on emerging technologies, agricultural robotics expert Simon Blackmore said at the International Tri-Conference for Precision Agriculture in Hamilton.

The change would be disruptive, but worthwhile because it would make crop production more efficient than it is at the moment, he said.

"If we do that, we have more of a chance of feeding the planet, [have] less environmental impact and make more money."

Blackmore is a professor and head of agricultural robotics at the Agri-Epi-Centre and Harper Adams University and is also the director of the National Centre for Precision Farming in the United Kingdom.

While big, heavy farm machinery for cropping had increased work rates and reduced per hectare costs, they could not work in smaller fields, which had to be productive if farmers were going to feed the world.

"In my vision of agricultural robots in the future, I do see robots working in smaller fields, smaller farms and less developed areas," said Blackmore.  Full Article:

Comments (0)

This post does not have any comments. Be the first to leave a comment below.


Post A Comment

You must be logged in before you can post a comment. Login now.

Featured Product

Dynatect Automated Machine Safety Roll-Up Doors

Dynatect Automated Machine Safety Roll-Up Doors

Need to increase safety? Are you using light curtains? Is space a concern? Dynatect's Gortite® VF Automated Machine Safety Door combines safety technology, speed, and a physical barrier to isolate hazardous operations. Use of a physical barrier with safety sensors can save up to 30 square feet of manufacturing space. Using the ANSI minimum safety distance formula, the Gortite® VF Door limits the depth penetration factor and average approach speed, allowing closer location of the safeguarding device. Unlike light curtains, which can't contain process hazards, an automated machine safety door can isolate common workplace debris. This physical barrier is designed to contain process driven hazards such as weld sparks, UV flash, and light debris. Thus, the operator can maintain closer proximity to the work area improving ergonomics and productivity.