Agriculture is a demanding and developing industry. One farming tractor can now do in a day what used to take 100 people, a week. While the industry is literally, reaping the benefits of demand, this does provoke concerns over pesticide use and soil health.
Seeing, localising, and taking plant-specific intelligent action are no longer the exclusive realm of humans. Machines have demonstrated the technical viability and the emphasis has long shifted to the finer details of ROI, reliability, business model, etc.
The use of agricultural robots has significantly increased during this pandemic state, especially to boost the production of food grains, meet the cumulative demands of people for food, and fight against the dangerous COVID-19 disease.
A wide range of technologies can enable the transition of agricultural robots into the field. Some technologies will need to be developed specifically for agriculture, while other technologies already developed for other areas could be adapted to the agricultural domain.
Motiv Robotics announces the availability of the RoboMantis robot with enhanced capabilities at iROS 2019 in Macau.
Ag businesses have also increasingly relied on AI and robots to help perform certain necessary tasks. These robots are typically specialized and designed for one kind of job. One example of this is Harvest Automation's container-moving robot.
We call our hero BigTop, an autonomous, mobile robot with the ability to move 250 pots an hour and have a run time of 16 hours on interchangeable batteries.
The modern-day desire for efficiency through automation has spread its way into every industry. Even in the agriculture sector, unmanned ground vehicles are being considered to supplement work with crops and improve farm management.
In France's Bordeaux region, robots ensure that the wine is organically good. They autonomously eliminate grass and weeds between the vines, making pesticides unnecessary. To enable the robots to navigate the hilly terrain, the developers took some cues from Mars rovers.
BigTop solves the repetitive and laborious task of moving and spacing pots of different sizes and weights in greenhouses and nurseries. BigTop can move up to nine plant pots at a time and then place the plants securely on its rotating robotic platform base.
The simplest way that robotic technology can be used for cannabis farming is the trimming process. AI-powered robots are able to automate the trimming process, so that farmers are able to de-leaf buds quickly and effectively, saving countless hours of manual labor.
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In a nutshell, by bringing artificial intelligence and around-the-clock activity, the robots will help optimize the yield of the farms far beyond what could humanly be possible. Maximizing the production while minimizing the costs in energy, water, time.
"The robot saves at least five hours in transport time a week, and the working day is quieter and calmer," Broberg said. "I already take 15,000 to 17,000 steps a day in my job, so I definitely don't miss the walk to the pallet stacker."
The technological advances in agriculture are not just to do with social media savvy cows - the global agricultural robots market was estimated to account for a market revenue of $2,927 million in 2016, but is expected to rocket to $11,050 million in 2023.
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