The Hydroponic, Robotic Future of Farming in Greenhouses

Matt Simon for Wired: The company is developing machine learning algorithms that will automatically detect diseased plants and kick them out of the system before the sickness spreads. Underdeveloped plants would also get the boot.

World's first floating farm in the Netherlands

Mina Solanki for IAmExPat: Floating Farm will be made from a concrete base and will measure around 1.000 square metres. The roof will be fitted with solar panels and a rainwater collection system.

UK Farm is First to Complete Fully-autonomous Crop Harvest

Lauren Scrudato for Laboratory Equipment: They completed the task with basic, commercially-available agriculture machines and open-source software typically used to guide hobbyists' drones.

Vineyard Robot Prototype to Debut at FutureFarm Expo in Oregon

Seeking to solve the chronic labor shortage problem facing the US premium wine industry, the Digital Harvest LLC project 'ROVR' team has developed a fully mobile concept demonstrator at their Pendleton, Oregon R&D lab.

Roomba Inventor Joe Jones on His New Weed-Killing Robot

Evan Ackerman for IEEE Spectrum: Tertill is a solar-powered, weed-destroying, fully autonomous and completely self-contained robot designed for your garden.

Robotics Ignite Agricultural Revolution

Advanced robotics will make jobs such as harvesting easier for farmers. In time, when robots finally learn how to harvest each individual crop, farms will be able to produce more yields for human consumption.

Abundant Robotics raises $10 million to commercialize its apple-picking robot

Brnice Magistretti for VentureBeat: Picking apples may seem like a fun weekend activity, but it's actually backbreaking manual labor. Abundant Robotics wants to help agricultural growers shoulder this task and today announced funding of $10 million, led by GV, to commercialize its apple-picking robot.

Robot Can Pick and Sort Fruit

A robotics breakthrough by product design and development firm Cambridge Consultants is set to boost productivity across the food chain - from the field to the warehouse. It paves the way for robots to take on complex picking and sorting tasks involving irregular organic items - sorting fruit and vegetables, for example, or locating and removing specific weeds among crops in a field. "Traditional robots struggle when it comes to adapting to deal with uncertainty," said Chris Roberts, head of industrial robotics at Cambridge Consultants. "Our innovative blend of existing technologies and novel signal processing techniques has resulted in a radical new system design that is poised to disrupt the industry."

Advances in farming robotics could address shortage in agricultural workers

By Steve Brachmann for IPWatchDog: More and more, the agricultural world is looking towards the mechanization of labor processes through robotics as a way of potentially increasing their productivity. Robotics was identified as a sector of investment growth in agricultural tech by an April 2014 white paper on agriculture technologies published by the entrepreneurship and education non-profit Kauffman Foundation. Robotics is a regular focus of ours here on IPWatchdog, most recently visited in our coverage of the incredible advancements in walking and jumping robotics pioneered by Boston Dynamics, a Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) subsidiary. With American farmers already heavily involved in the regulatory conversation involving the commercial use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, we thought that it would be interesting to delve into the world of farming robotics and see the recent advances in that particular field. It's important to understand first that the robotics being developed for commercial use on farms won't be stand-alone humanoid units ranging through fields to pick crops. Any piece of hardware implementing an algorithm which automates some of the manual work of farming falls under this heading. One good example of this is the LettuceBot, a precision thinning technology which works to visually characterize plants in a lettuce row, identify which plants to keep and eliminating unwanted plants to optimize yield. The unit doesn't move by itself but is guided along by a tractor instead. The technology has been developed by Blue River Technology of Sunnyvale, CA, a company which has attracted $13 million in investment between 2011 and 2014 to commercialize this product. The LettuceBot's creators hope toprovide the technology as a third-party service to farm owners before manufacturing the unit for commercial sale. Cont'd...

AGROBOT: Strawberry Harvesters

From AGROBOT: AGB® manages a set of robotic manipulators able to locate and identify your strawberries, selecting them based on their size and degree of ripeness. This system analyzes your fruit one by one, and it is responsible for ordering cutting movements that guarantee accuracy, smoothness, and sensitivity in the strawberry treatment. The fruit, picked with the strictest hygiene conditions, is driven by our FlexConveyor System to the packaging area. Select the ripeness you would pick up. AGvision ® is an artificial vision system that identifies your fruit with maximum accuracy and consistency. Its advanced technology, implement in real time a protocol for morphological and color analysis which systematically return the ripeness of the fruit, discriminating exclusively those strawberries which meets the quality standards previously set by the farmer... ( more details )

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