Improved efficiency is one of the top factors influencing the adoption of robotics in the agricultural industry. Farmers in various societies are using automated machines to help with the large farms workload. The application of this innovative technology has come at a good time with large farms facing a shortage of labor. Robots in agriculture, also known as agbots, have been featured in various agricultural activities such as planting and harvesting. To shed more light on this concept, we discuss some of the autonomous robots in the agricultural industry.
This is the initial stage undertaken by a farmer as it entails drilling holes or placing seeds directly into the soil. Various autonomous tractors have been developed for planting seeds like barley and wheat. These robots come with functions that set the depth of holes to be drilled and the intervals to follow. These settings will vary depending on the size of seeds you are looking to plant. This category of technologies also features autonomous robots used in nursery planting when it comes to seeding and other nursery activities. This type of technology is mainly used in greenhouses.
The quality of most agricultural products depends on the quality of seed planting process. As such, farmers use autonomous precision seeding, which allows a tractor to sow seeds at a depth that will maximize their potential. Robots such as drones are used to collect soil samples from a farm and deliver them to lab techs who proceed to test them for quality, texture, density etc. A geomapping technology is then used to pinpoint the fertility of each location. This helps to maximize the output of the agricultural land.
Monitoring of Agricultural Farms
After completing the seeding process, there is a need to monitor and analyze the land, activities that are tedious for humans. That is why geomapping innovations and sensors are incorporated in farms to provide useful data to the farmers. To obtain this data, drones or ground robots are dispatched to various locations in the farms.
These robots come with software for data analysis, which you can operate via your Android or smartphone. For better crop data, ground robots are more reliable since they are in closer contact with the plants. The robots are also being applied in maintenance agricultural activities such as weeding and application of fertilizers.
The computer vision technology allows the farmers to get precise data with respect to each crop. This makes it possible to recommend the right fertilizers and chemicals for each plant based on the data collected, its analysis, and interpretation.
Today, the technology has been updated leading to the invention of Robot-Assisted Precision Irrigation, which makes the work easy and more efficient. With this technology, the robots are able to move around the agricultural land while providing water to the root area with precision. This helps minimize wastage of water, which is valuable resource.
With crops like corn, the application of fertilizer when they are fully grown is a big problem for the farmers. The Robot-Assisted Precision Irrigation may use water filled with soluble fertilizers and distribute it to the crop base. Large firms also utilize robots to apply fertilizers at the precise plant’s base.
Spraying of Pesticides and Herbicides
Pesticides and herbicides are essential for agricultural success but may have detrimental effects to the environment and people around. This happens when they are sprayed in a wasteful manner. To enhance the efficiency of the chemicals and to minimize their adverse effects, micro-spraying robots are being used in large farms. The autonomous micro-spraying robots detect the location of pests and weeds with the use of the computer vision innovation. After detecting the infested area, the robot sprays the targeted weeds or pests with just a drop of the herbicide and pesticide respectively.
The more advanced robotic technology used in farms utilize laser to kill the detected weeds or pests. Other robots detect the weeds’ precise location and uproot the noxious plants.
Automated Harvesting Systems
With agbots, you no longer have to take days to harvest your crop regardless of the size of your farm. Autonomous robotics are making the harvesting process easy for large-scale farmers.
Autonomous Robotics For Shepherds and Herding
Robots have been developed to make herding and shepherding easy since they help round up the animals. Their effectiveness is particularly impressive when used to round up animals that graze over rugged terrains and expansive fields. The robots are also significantly cheaper than the use of helicopters to round up the animals.
The use of autonomous robots in the agricultural sector is becoming cheaper and more efficient. Some scientists believe that a time is coming when every agricultural farm will have robots assisting the farmers and their employees to undertake various activities. Unlike some of the traditional technologies applied in farms today and in the past, the robotic technology is more sustainable and guarantees optimal output without wasting inputs. Many tech companies are using their innovations and scientists to develop autonomous robotics that will make the agricultural industry even more interesting in the future. With the population of people in the world increasing, feeding the world will require farmers to be more efficient and utilize highly effective technologies.