How Robotics are Advancing the Agricultural Industry

Published On November 14, 2018 | By Laura Overton | Technology

Business is booming in the agriculture sector and this can be attributed to the introduction of robotics in the industry. In fact, it has been so good that it has attracted a number of new investors and companies. New professionals are also getting interested in the industry.

Most of this response to the industry is due to the adoption of new technology such as industrial robots which have highly improved the production capabilities of agricultural products. With the rapid development of technology, the agriculture industry can only get better.

In order for this to happen, production yields have to be increased significantly. The world population continues to increase which means more food is needed. It will be up to the farmers to keep the world nourished and well fed. With this kind of pressure, the industry has no choice but to look for ways to ensure that food production goes up.

Agricultural robots couldn’t have come in at a better time. They are aiding farmers to increase food production in many ways. Some of the robots that have been adopted in the agricultural industry include drones, robotic arms, and autonomous tractors.

Applications

Some tasks in the agriculture sector are rather slow and repetitive which is very dull for farmers who can get bored and distracted as a result. Agriculture robots take over these tasks and free workers to undertake less boring tasks. The robots are used for applications such as:

  • Phenotyping
  • Mowing
  • Harvesting
  • Pruning
  • Sorting
  • Packing
  • Spraying
  • Thinning
  • Controlling weed
  • Utility platforms

Robots are revered in many industries for their not only for their precision but also for their accuracy and speed. In the agriculture industry, this feat is especially appreciated during harvesting and picking. Robots not only harvest fast, but they are also able to reduce the amount of waste from yields being left behind in the field. This helps to improve the size of the yields.

Harvesting and picking robots are therefore some of the most popular robots among farmers. Technology is helping the agriculture industry to improve production in many ways. The demand for food is almost more than the available farmland in which to grow it and the farmers must figure out how to close up this gap. Technology is one way to ensure that yields are enough to feed the growing population.

Benefits of Automation

Robotics in the agriculture sector has raised the hopes of many pessimists and they are also seeing the possibilities of making a living out of agriculture. Farming was hitherto an occupation that was looked down upon.

Automation is not only beneficial in crop farming. It is also quite useful in dairy farming. For instance, fitness trackers used for cattle are becoming a phenomenon. Sensors are attached to the trackers that send back data on the animal’s health and wellbeing. Interestingly, this data can be uploaded to social media, especially Twitter.

Other robots include milking robots which allow cows to choose when to be milked. Additionally, a large scale dairy farmer has the advantage of having a system that works efficiently and fast for him or her. The farmhands can then be engaged in other duties or at the very least, released fast to attend to other farming needs.

Apart from producing more yields, farmers have the added pressure of ensuring that their processes are eco-friendly and sustainable. This means farmers figure out how to:

  • Use water efficiently to avoid waste
  • Reduce the use of pesticides and other chemicals
  • Work on sustainability
  • Produce top quality food

Robotics can help farmers to achieve these goals.

Technological Advances

Agriculture is fast moving on from the regular tractor that was the epitome of farming to fully automated machines. Robotics experts are developing driverless tractors that will take farming to the next level.

Inasmuch as the farming environment can be complicated and therefore not very easy to predict, technological advancements in the industry continue to take shape and are expected to take over many more farming activities.

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