Gone are the days when agriculture was an activity of the farm-hands. This is becoming a business and investment that is exciting and one that has attracted professionals and people from all walks of life. Not only has it become a well-paying profession but also one that employs the use of the latest technologies. Among the technologies that have stood out is the automation technology with a keen focus on robots and robotics.
Part of these trends and changes have been necessitated by the increasing demand for food supplies. Recent studies have shown that farmers worldwide are yet to meet the current demand for food. What’s more, the demand is likely to go even higher in the next 2-3 years. In order to meet this demand, farmers need to up their game.
Automating agriculture is all about reducing the amount of manual intervention that is required in order to complete farming activities. These activities can be of different nature, be it harvesting, or any activity that includes attending to crops or animals.
The introduction of agricultural robots will go a long way in salvaging the situation of food shortages. A number of agricultural robots such as drones and auto-tractors have been designed and deployed in different parts of the world’s agricultural economies. Currently, there are also different cobots like the ones used for cow milking are in use in different parts of the world.
Top Robot Applications Used In Agriculture
These are agricultural robots that help in speeding up agricultural tasks that would otherwise be boring and seem repetitive for humans. The end result is a quick production process. The following are top applications in agriculture;
Robots for weeding crops and spraying
Dealing with weeds by either spraying or simply weeding can be time-consuming especially when done by a human. There is also the wastage that happens during the process due to either causing damage to the main crop while weeding or wastage of the herbicide while spraying. Weeding robots have come to make this process much quicker and more economical. But how does this happen? Through the micro-spraying technology, the robots significantly cut down the amount of herbicides or insecticides that would otherwise go to waste if the same activity was done by humans. Using this technology, robots can detect the main area that needs spraying and therefore does not need to waste time or resources spraying the entire surrounding.
There are some robots that are programmed to detect weeds and automatically destroy them as a weeding tractor moves along.
Robots For Fertilization And Irrigation
Just like in weeding, irrigation robots reduce the amount of water that goes to waste by watering only the parts of a plant that matter; which in most cases is only the base area of the plant. This method is economical unlike traditional irrigation methods that normally used thousands of litres only for a large amount of this water to go to waste.
Use Of Robots For Crop Seeding
Many plants start off as a seed. If not nurtured properly from the early stages, the seed may not even sprout. Modern robots allow crop seeding by carefully assessing and determining the most appropriate ground for a seed to sprout and even survive. It then places seeds at this exact location, reducing the chances of seed wasting. Each seed is sowed in an environment where it has high chances of growing into a plant.
Robots for milking
Animal farming has not been left out either; Universal Robots recently launched a robot known as UR5. This is a robot which aids in the spraying of a disinfectant on the udders of cow prior to the milking session. There are also a number or robots used in milking cows especially in large-scale farming and others for weighing and packaging milk and milk products.
From the look of things, robots will continue to transform and revolutionalize agriculture in a big way. Food production will be a techno-based business like many others. As the adoption of agri-robots goes up, agriculture will change and food supply will also increase. This is definitely a trend to look out for now and in future.