Farming has become such an expensive and large undertaking that we have seen great advances in the use of automation and technology in the last few decades in both the crop and livestock areas.
Virtually every part of the process has been affected, from the crop science to the cultivation, planting, fertilizing and the harvesting areas.
There are GPS and onboard computers on the cultivators and combines and we have aerial drones to check on the crop progress and even treat the fields.
Ground robots with cameras and AI machine learning can be used to move through parts of the field to check for plant health, soil quality or dryness, insect issues and they can produce regular detailed useful reports for the owner/operator.
Sensors play a huge part in sending back the information that the robots need to act on.
Indoor greenhouses are the ideal environment for any robots due to the flat ground and controlled weather conditions.
But of of course there are many great advances being made in rough terrain robotics that can handle any heat, water, wind, muddy or storm conditions.
Here are the names of some companies involved in agricultural robotics in 2021.
- Farmwise weed digging robot
- Octinion Rubion robot for picking strawberries in Belgium or Harvest CROO with the Berry 5
- Cambridge University testing machine vision to pick lettuce with their Vegebot
- John Deer purchased River Technology and their lettuce picking robot equipment
- milking machines
Other companies like
- Abundant Robotics
- Harvest Automation
- Nexus Robotics
- Iron Ox
- American Robotics
- Desert Research Institute
One of the biggest areas of robotics in the last few years is called IOT and IOE which stand for internet of things and internet of everything and yes they are involved in the area of agriculture.
People used to think of IOT as having your refridgerator able to talk to your microwave and you being able to control them both from 1,000 miles away.
Yes thats sort of what it is all about.
Now with farming, IOT allows for much better yields.
There is tracking and sensors and monitoring systems and basically nothing not even a tiny infestation of beetles can go unnoticed for long.
We have new terms that are coming up every year in farming with the word adaptive irrigation getting more popular lately during times of world wide droughts.