Robot Farmers Seeding the New Agricultural Revolution

Green machines: sowing the seeds of farming 4.0

Robot Farmers Seeding the New Agricultural Revolution

Robot Farmers Seeding the New Agricultural Revolution At the annual Farm Progress Show in Iowa in 2016, growers gawked at what some are describing as the beginning of a new agricultural revolution: a self-driving tractor that takes humans out of the loop entirely.

The Case IH Autonomous Concept Vehicle can go from parking spot to field and back by itself. It can be operated and monitored remotely via tablet as it follows preset paths for planting, harvesting or other farming tasks. Equipped with sensors for automatic navigation and obstacle avoidance, it can work around the clock, boosting productivity.

While the model knocked some people’s socks off in light of the fact that it disposes of the driver’s taxi, fluctuating measures of mechanization have been integrated into farm trucks and rural hardware for quite a long time. As a matter of fact, robots are now on the homestead doing all that from cultivating and collecting to draining. Airborne robots are being utilized to review and splash crops. Computerized lettuce thinners, grape-leaf pullers and weed executioners are taking on troublesome, monotonous positions and doing them more rapidly and proficiently than human specialists. Alongside GPS and satellite innovation used to direct work vehicles and guide fields, these robots are important for another homestead upset known as accuracy horticulture.

Many More Mouths to Feed

In a 2016 report on accuracy cultivating, Goldman Sachs said it sees a $240-billion market for computerization on the ranch, including a $45-billion market for little driverless farm vehicles alone. Other than setting aside time and cash, these robotractors would bring advantages, for example, a lower pace of soil compaction — and that implies improved yields — in view of their lighter weight contrasted with manual farm haulers. The report appraises that mechanization on the ranch, alongside advancements like accuracy water system and planting, could assist with expanding ranch yields by in excess of 70% by 2050, when the worldwide populace is anticipated to move toward 10 billion.

“We will have a lot more people to feed than we ever have in history,” says Jonathan Rogers, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Georgia Tech. “The only way we can really achieve the level of food production we’re going to need in the future is to employ automation and robots.”

Meeting the huge demand from so many people will require some thinking outside the box. Rogers and colleagues recently developed an agricultural robot that’s different from all the rest. Inspired by sloths and named Tarzan, the two-armed machine swings like a gibbon along parallel wires suspended above a field while imaging the crop. It’s designed to stay in the field for long periods, photographing each plant so that farmers don’t have to physically check for signs of wilting. Instead, they can remotely review imagery in real time, getting more frequent snapshots of their plants and saving them time spent on crop inspection.

Automate or Die?

With an ever increasing number of robots swinging, flying and moving around ranchers’ fields, what will befall ranchers and homestead laborers? Since the first Agrarian Transformation and afterward the Modern Upset, presenting robotization at work has raised worries about dislodging human work, and late discussions encompassing mechanical technology in U.S. producing are the same.

NNN / Let the Robotic Farmers feed the World

The fact is that the percentage of the U.S. workforce engaged in agriculture has diminished drastically over the past two centuries while productivity has jumped due to the introduction of machinery. As University of Georgia economics professor Jeffrey Dorfman writes, “The history of mechanization in agriculture provides proof that huge numbers of workers can be replaced by machines without leading to mass unemployment.”

In countries such as the U.S. and Japan, automation is increasingly being seen as the only way to deal with labor shortages caused by immigration crackdowns, aging populations or both.


Leave a Comment