Robots are innovating every aspect of our lives, including agriculture, renewing its future
Farmers have always needed a lot of information to grow their fields; despite considering agriculture far from high tech, actually robotics is essential to improve crops, especially in the era of industry 4.0.
In fact i Big Data are necessary for agriculture, where the variables to be taken into consideration are numerous and where the territories to be monitored are very vast. For this reason, technology and robots are the key to supporting agriculture in innovation, becoming a highly sophisticated business; at the same time, these technologies could improve the quality of life of many farmers, increasing their business and production.
Agriculture is facing several challenges and the only way to keep up with the times is to innovate: the average age is advancing and now people even past 50 still work in difficult conditions; high labor costs; climate change ... For these reasons, there is robotics that is committed to improving the future of agriculture.
Here are some of the most innovative robots to support a better future for agriculture
The average age is rising and in agriculture the latest data indicate an average range between 50 and 58 years, with consequent problems in the smaller farms, where there are no young generations willing to work in the fields. Therefore, the solution comes from engineering. Several multinationals have designed special exoskeletons capable of supporting workers (in this case, farmers). How does it work? This kind of robot follows the movements of the factor, without interfering, but relieves the pressure on the legs, arms and knee, acting as a general support in lifting the weights. (Are you curious about the use of robots as supports? Read the article about the robotic arms!)
Although we tend to consider big and useful robots in the heaviest jobs, there are some small robots capable of picking fruit, including strawberries; thanks to them, the producers could thus collect all the fruit produced during the season. In fact, generally during the peak of the season farmers can afford to pay other workers to proceed with the harvest only once, while subsequent productions simply remain on the trees, as long as they rot. Thanks to AI and Machine Learning, robots are able to understand when the fruit is ripe to be harvested, with enormous benefits for producers.
It is a fairly well-known technology, since their first applications date back to the 80s. At the moment they are used in agriculture for map, monitor and generate 3D images; the crops are often found on vast territories, and it is very difficult to monitor everything constantly. For example, if a person needs about 11 hours of work to sample one acre of land on foot, a drone will be able to sample 500 to 1000 acres in one day.
Robot rips weeds
Weeds and weeds are one of the biggest problems for farmers; it is impossible to eradicate them one by one and, at the same time, using herbicides makes the weeds more resistant and insensitive to pesticides. To protect plants from pests there is now one special robot capable of cleaning weeds. To achieve this, cooperation in mechanical engineering, robotics and machine learning was necessary; the robot, in fact, thanks to machine learning it is able to recognize the root of the weed and to eradicate it only once it is ripe.