After years of high expectations and anticipation, robotics has finally entered the world of farming startups. On its own, the market of robotics has started to boom for some time now with an approx value of $2367 billion in the last year. This value is expected to attain $74 billion by the end of 2026 and a good portion of this growth will be dedicated to agriculture robots.
Let us have a look at the potential advantages, disadvantages, usage, and importance of robots in agriculture.
Agricultural Robots: The Future Of Robotic Agriculture
Agricultural robots are specialized elements of technology that can assist the farmers with a wide variety of functions. They offer the capability to analyze, carry out, and contemplate a multitude of operations, and they can be used to evolve and grow to match the requirements of various tasks.
They can be used for numerous tasks to ease the farmer’s burden. Their main role is to tackle repetitive, labor intensive, and tasks that are physically demanding. In present years, however, robots are used in many sectors including harvesting. This includes the ability to pick out sensitive vegetables and fruits like strawberries and lettuce.
Top Companies Dealing With Agriculture Robots
There are many universities and corporations around the globe that are deeply dedicated to agricultural robotics. There are many agricultural robots in the Philippines and in many other parts of the globe. Breakthroughs and developments in this sector are taking place thick and fast and for this reason here is a list of types of agricultural robots.
Robots For Crop Harvesting
The physicality that is related to the harvesting of crops has always been a troubling attempt for farmers around the globe, and this is the reason robotics is being used to decrease the demands of this activity. This repetitive and laborious activity of farming is inescapable as well, but the nature of the job makes it important for robots to come in and take over.
The only main issue here has been worrying about the manual dexterity needed to pick varied vegetables and fruits. Each form of the product has its own unique needs and this requires a high amount of mechanical and research expertise.
Mainly fruits are known to bruise very easily, while vegetables that are leafy are susceptible to tears. Managing this issue needs a high amount of precision that is required to be programmed into the robots that will in turn set the task. Fortunately, a few big heads are already approaching to fill this sector with agri-tech.
One of the important names to be associated in this sector of agricultural robots is Cambridge University. They have formulated a unique robot that is known as “Vegebot”, and this robot is a prototype that depends on computer vision to attain incredible accuracy when harvesting any crops.
They have specifically created these robots to pick up lettuce plants which is a task that was seen and near to impossible for machines previously.
Harvest Croo is another big name that is functioning in the U.S.A which is deeply associated with designing harvesting robots for difficult crops. They presently specialize in picking up strawberries as this fruit is notoriously inclined towards damages during the season of harvesting.
Their robot is known as Berry 5, and it is an apex of varied components instead of the single arms that is traditionally availed for robots in agriculture. These elements can help Berry 5 carry out complicated tasks such as picking the strawberry delicately, holding the leaf of the strawberry bush, and packing the strawberries away safely.
Harvest Automation was formed by ex-employees of iRobot which is the company that is responsible for the formation of the Roomba. Their main product is known as the HV-100 robot and its operations center on spacing varied types of container crops and plants during the harvest season.
This technique is mainly useful for greenhouses as the plants in this ecosystem require to be evenly spaced to stop overlapping of growth and create resilience.
Robots For Weed Removals
Weeds are the curse of farmers around the globe which is why so much investment is being offered into creating robotics to solve this problem. These annoying crops are notoriously hard to remove and are able to even become immune to weed killers over time.
Nexus Robotics is managing this problem with its weed-removing autonomous robot. It is known as R2Weed2 and it depends on AI (artificial intelligence) to segregate among crops and weeds before pulling them out.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Agricultural Robotics
As the concept of agriculture robots is still being introduced in farmlands around the globe, there is enormous growth that is left to be achieved in this sector. Here are some of the pros and cons of this technology that should also be considered.
Robots are being used to help the farmers and free them from chores that are time-intensive and physically demanding, thereby enabling them to take on other crucial roles in their spare time. This includes utilizing A.I, machine-learning algorithms, and UAVs to have a look at their farms, make important decisions based on evolving data, and even stay one step ahead of upcoming issues.
As this technology is still in its novice stage, it can be high-priced to get for all farmers. Thus most robotics require to be thoroughly tested and even manufactured on a huge scale before it becomes available to farmers in developing and under-developed nations. Robotics in agriculture in India is yet to arrive.
Along with that, robotics can also be a threat to a huge number of daily wage workers who depend on jobs at farmlands to earn their living. If robotics replaces this human intensive industry, it can lead to an unemployment crunch as well.
The Bottom Line
With every passing day, the world is changing and so is the agricultural sector. The agri-tech sector has now started to see the evolution of robots that help in their process of harvesting. There are many agricultural robotics companies and organizations that are designing agricultural robots that will help the future of farming. In this article we have discussed some similar types of companies and how they operate in the farming sector along with their advantages and disadvantages.